By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Mar. 23: Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) has suggested newly appointed Ambassador of Nepal to India Dr. Shankar Sharma to play a role to reduce trade deficit with India through tourism promotion and investment.
During a meeting with newly appointed Ambassador to India Sharma on Tuesday, the NCC requested him to take initiative to attract Indian investment in the hydropower sector.
NCC president Rajendra Malla stressed on the need to increase Indian investment in the hydropower and services sectors to reduce the growing trade deficit with the southern neighbour. "India accounts for 65 per cent of the total imports. India also has the largest share of exports at 75 per cent. The trade deficit with India has reached Rs. 679 billion in the first eight months of the current fiscal year. The only way to reduce trade deficit is to increase production through Indian investment and attract Indian tourists,” he said.
President Malla said that Nepal could reap many benefits if only 0.25 per cent of the 1.38 billion population in the neighboring India could be brought to visit Nepal. He said that many benefits could be reaped by attracting middle and high income Indian citizens to Nepal. Malla also urged Ambassador Sharma to facilitate exports.
Stating that the quality of goods exported to India could not be measured due to the absence of high level quarantine lab, he drew the attention of Ambassador Sharma in regard to this. Officials of the NCC had complained that Nepali businessmen were suffering unnecessarily at Visakhapatnam port, Dharma port and Mundra port.
They have requested to facilitate the transit as the containers carrying Nepali goods were stopped for a long time. In response, Ambassador Sharma said that trade deficit reduction and export facilitation were among his priorities. He also expressed his commitment to take initiative for setting up a quarantine lab.
Ambassador Sharma said that he would take initiative to attract investment through cooperation between Nepal and India.