India-Nepal Economic Partnership Summit Organised at Gangtok to Deepen Regional and Sub-regional Economic Cooperation


In order to explore the trade and investment opportunities and to participate in the economic development of both India’s Northeast Region and Nepal, PHDCCI under aegis of its India-Nepal Centre (INC) / State Development Council (SDC) and in association with the Embassy of Nepal, New Delhi, India has organised “India-Nepal Economic Partnership Summit” on 28th June at Gangtok, Sikkim.


The Summit focussed on the sectors where India-Nepal co-operation can be further boosted through proactive and sublime “East Connection” to achieve the desired goals for Nepal’s economic development –Tourism; Agriculture & Food Processing; Energy; Infrastructure; Healthcare; Education, Skill Development & Start-ups and Services.


The Summit hosted some of the key policy-makers who significantly influence the decision-making of the region. It hosted two-ways investment opportunities between Sikkim and Nepal through sensitising the industry captains and investors to come in term with the strong possibilities that both the places offer unwaveringly for businesses and investments.


While speaking at the Summit as “Chief Guest”, Mr Prem Singh Tamang, Chief Minister, Sikkim shared his perspectives on the opportunities that are at place and about the need of having the collaborative efforts, for making a framework of comprehensive regional and sub-regional economic co-operation.


Ambassador of Nepal Mr Nilambar Acharya pointed on the sectors where India-Nepal co-operation can be further boosted through proactive and sublime “East Connection” to achieve the desired goals for economic development – Energy; Infrastructure; Tourism; Agriculture & Food Processing; Healthcare; Education, Skill Development & Start-ups and Services. Mr Krishna Hari Pushkar, Minister (Economic), Embassy of Nepal further substantiated this particular aspect in his detailed presentation.


Mr Alok Srivastava, the Chief Secretary of Sikkim gave an overview of Sikkim’s developmental profile and policies which are progressive and supportive to the businesses. Mr Thomas Chandy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Commerce and Industries, Government of Sikkim welcomed the Nepalese entrepreneurs’ to engage with Sikkim and start a new chapter of collaboration in particularly two areas – Tourism and Organic Farming.


Prof Mahendra Lama, Professor (South Asian Economies), JNU & Member, EPG on Nepal-India Relations, touched on historical and contemporary facts that are crucial for further expansion of economic cooperation between Sikkim and Nepal. Mr Anukool Bhatnagar, MD & CEO, Nepal SBI Bank Ltd outlined on the financing facilities available in Nepal for doing business.


Ambassador Mr K V Rajan, Chairman, India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI and India’s former Ambassador to Nepal shared his reflections on the need of institutionalising the socio-cultural goodwill and shared ties between India and Nepal for accelerating the economic cooperation.


Noticeably, the PHDCCI has been closely working with the Government of Nepal and the leading industry bodies of Nepal. PHDCCI’s India-Nepal Centre promotes two-way bilateral economic and business relations between India and Nepal.


The Summit’s first Technical Session Chaired by Amb Mr K V Rajan dealt with “Promoting Industry in Nepal; Revisiting Bilateral Trade Policies; Expanding Sub-regional Cooperation; Border Area Development; MSMEs; Destination Sikkim; SAARC; BBIN.” The Session was participated by Mr Tirtha Poudel, Counsellor, (Economic), Embassy of Nepal, India; Mr P D Rai, Former MP, Lok Sabha, Sikkim & Leader, SDF; Ms Sherap Shenga, Secretary, Department of Information & Public Relations; Dr Jagganath Patnaik, Vice Chancellor, ICFAI University, Sikkim; Dr P P Dabral, Dean, Central Agriculture University, Sikkim; Mr Trilok Dewan, Former Chief Secretary, Andhra Pradesh; Former Principal Secretary & Advisor, GTA; Former MLA, Darjeeling; Mr Raj Basu, Advisor (Tourism), Government of Sikkim.


The concluding Session focussed on “Policy Reforms & Ease of Doing Business in Nepal; Sectoral Possibilities in Nepal; Channelising Investment (both-ways) for Industrial Development in Nepal and Northeast (with special reference to Sikkim” and was moderated by Mr Atul K Thakur, Deputy Secretary & Coordinator, SDC / India-Nepal Centre, PHDCCI. The panel-members were: Mr Sunil KC, CEO, Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA), Kathmandu; Mr Kuvera Chalise, Editor, Karobar Daily, Kathmandu; Mr Bikas Rauniyar, Executive Director, Interstate Multi-Modal Transport (P) Ltd / Fleet Logistics (P) Ltd; Dr Panu Pazo, International Trade Expert; Col Mani Gahatraj, Consultant – Infrastructure; Ms Gayatri Rai, Educationist; Mr Abhimanyu Dhakal, Agri & Food Processing Entrepreneur.


Through the Summit, the efforts were made to create and sustain a framework of deeper regional and sub-regional economic cooperation.