NCC urges NEDFi to take initiative to build road network in BIMSTEC countries

KATHMANDU: Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) officials met with a delegation of North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) and urged to take initiatives to build a common road network in Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Member States. The NCC requested to expand trade by creating a common road network in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.

In a meeting held on Wednesday with Mahendra P Lama, Chief Economic Adviser of Sikkim Government,  and Awajit Kumar Bezbaruah, Senior Adviser of NEDFi,  at Chamber Bhawan in Kathmandu, the NCC officials requested to facilitate business environment along with the development of road infrastructure in BIMSTEC countries.

NCC President Rajendra Malla expressed that if the business environment can be made easier by strengthening the road network, all BIMSTEC member states can get benefits. The NCC emphasized that the common goal of economic development should be achieved by developing road infrastructure in South Asian countries.

President Malla also emphasized that Nepal’s exports should be facilitated in order to reduce the trade deficit with India. According to Malla, business environment should be created by facilitating the border crossings between the two countries and upgrading the road network. He mentioned that Nepal’s trade deficit with India was about 70% and requested the visiting Indian delegation to take initiatives to end the difficulties in export.

The NCC President stressed that efforts should also be made to create an environment so that Nepal’s electricity can be exported to India and Bangladesh. He suggested that both Nepal and India should look for business opportunities in Sikkim and Darjeeling where there are majority of Nepali speakers. He also urged for investments in tourism, hydropower, and physical infrastructure sectors. The NCC is trying to strengthen the bilateral trade relations between Nepal and India, Malla informed the Indian representatives.

In the meeting, NCC officials informed about the problems being faced by Nepali businesspersons while exporting goods to India.

On the occasion, Lama, who is also part of Nepal-India Joint Working Group, informed that feasibility studies were being conducted for a common road network in the BIMSTEC member states and a discussion ongoing at the central level for expansion of commercial activity by building physical infrastructure in both countries. Lama expressed his commitment to taking initiative to solve the problems at the border.

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