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Connectivity a must to expand interregional trade: FNCCI President Dhakal

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June 13, 2023- Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) President Chandra Prasad Dhakal underscored construction of quality infrastructures so as to promote interregional trade and investment among the BIMSTEC nations.

According to a press statement issued by the FNCCI here today, Dhakal said so while addressing a special session ‘International Trade Forum: Opportunities and Barriers’ under the BIMSTEC Business Conclave that kicked off in Kolkata of India from today.

Dhakal also emphasized good road connectivity, waterways and railway connectivity among the BIMSTEC member nations to augment interregional and intra-regional trade and investment in the regional forum of seven nations, reads the statement.

The Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTC) has Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand as its member nations.

Dhakal furthermore spoke of the need to increase joint investment from the BIMSTEC member nations to enhance air connectivity as well as digital connectivity, improve infrastructures network and build new physical infrastructures.

Stating that it was necessary to increase physical infrastructures such as road and ports for easy transportation, he said that the BIMSTEC nations could make joint efforts for the development and up-gradation of infrastructures to support the development of the regional value chain.

According to him, development of infrastructures related to power production, power trade and promotion of cross-border energy cooperation could support the development of industries needing excessive energy in regional value chain.

“For instance, Nepal, Bangladesh and India are working in the transmission lines to export surplus energy from Nepal to Bangladesh via India. Likewise, surplus energy could be exported to other BIMSTEC member countries and beyond,” he added.

He also pointed out the need for the BIMSTEC to consider removing and reducing various non-tariff barriers on trade so as to ease off investment and trade in the BIMSTEC region.

He also called for the BIMSTEC countries to implement necessary policy and procedural changes in investment policy, trade policy, custom process among others to create enabling environment for regional value chain and promote intra-regional trade.

“The liberal trade policy adopted by the BIMSTEC countries would further facilitate bilateral and multilateral trade among the member nations. Nepal could reap benefit from exemption or reduction of taxes on its exports thereby increasing trade volume and diversifying exports,” he viewed.

He opined that the regional connectivity and trade agreement would attract more Foreign Direct Investments. He also proposed to establish BIMSTEC Business Forum to promote interregional trade and investment.

The BIMSTEC Business Conclave 2023 is organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce supported by the Ministry of External Affairs. It is a three-day event that commemorates 25 years of establishment of the BIMSTEC. (RSS)

(Source: The Rising Nepal)

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