India, Nepal review progress on wide-ranging bilateral agenda


Kathmandu: A meeting of the India-Nepal Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) on Trade and Transit was held on Monday, during which both sides reviewed the progress made on wide-ranging bilateral agenda including review of treaties of trade and transit, stated the Indian embassy here.

The virtual meeting was led by commerce secretaries of both countries. The IGC is the apex bilateral mechanism to review and set the way forward for further enhancing bilateral trade and economic ties.

“Anup Wadhawan, Commerce Secretary, Government of India was accompanied by the Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra and a 15 member delegation drawn from various Ministries and the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, while his counterpart, Baikuntha Aryal, Secretary (Commerce & Supplies) of Nepal was assisted by representatives of various Ministries and Departments of Government of Nepal,” the embassy statement read.

According to the Indian embassy, the meeting concluded with both sides reviewing progress made on the development of trade infrastructure as well as investment promotions including the new proposal of development of cross-border economic zones and holding meeting of Joint Business Forum.

During the meeting, both commerce secretaries noted with appreciation that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there was “smooth and unimpeded” trade and commercial cargo movement by trucks across the land border with support and facilitation of both the government, the embassy said.

“The wide-ranging discussions today and the progress made in the meeting

are expected to further support the expansion in economic and commercial ties
between India and Nepal,” it added.

The Inter-Governmental Sub-Committee (IGSC) at the level of Joint Secretaries met on December 3-4, 2020 in the preparation for IGC meeting.

The meeting was held days after Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited Nepal. During his visit, Shringla had called on Nepali leadership President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

Shringla had also met Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and his Nepali counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal.

The embassy said India remains the largest trade and investment partner of Nepal both in terms of Nepali imports and Nepali exports.

“In fact, India is the only trading partner of Nepal with whom Nepali exports have consistently increased in the last two to three years,” it added.(ANI)