Joint Business Forum established between India & Nepal
Nepal is one of the largest trading partners in South Asia and our bilateral good trade has shown an increasing trend in the past few years, mentioned Mr. Alok Malviya, Director FT (SA/SAARC and Iran), Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India in the inaugural session of 5P Nepal International Expo 2021 organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Futurex Trade Fairs & Events Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Alok Malviya mentioned that we are holding a lot of bilateral meetings and a joint business forum has been established. This is a significant step that will enable timely and relevant feedback on the aspirations and concerns of the business stakeholders in India and Nepal and help shape the policies and practices required for the enhancement of trade and investment.
He further discussed that India and Nepal enjoy warm and close relations, our relationship is characterized by sprite of closeness and cooperation in all spheres ranging from economic, socio-cultural to people to people tie. The importance India-Nepal have given to each other is reflected in the regular high-level bilateral exchanges and meetings at political and professional levels.
Mr. Malviya deliberated that the development of infrastructure and simplification of procedures for cross border movement of goods also plays a key role in the facilitation of trade via land route. India has made significant efforts for the up gradation of broader trading infrastructure for smooth cross broader clearance of cargo.
He further emphasized that India- Nepal are also exploring innovative ways to decongest the border trading points, harmonize the product standards and mutually recognize each other’s certifications. Nepal offers huge potential for a rise in Agri exports from India. The pandemic has showcased India’s strength in pharmaceuticals and, opportunities can be explored in the sector as well.
Mr. Abhishek Upadhyay, First Secretary (Commerce), Embassy of India, Nepal while discussing 5Ps of the printing and packaging industry, mentioned that the Indian Packaging industry has tremendous space for growth in this segment, individually and jointly.
Talking about the future trends, Mr. Upadhyay mentioned that technology will be a booming industry and, e-commerce is here to stay. The companies have shifted to e-commerce and opening digital outlets to interact and attract customers. There is a revolution in logistics and social media along with e-commerce that can see as an opportunity for the 5Ps industry. The governance of data and taxation should be looked upon carefully. 5Ps needs to look at sustainability so that minimum wastage is assured and less harm is done to the environment.
Mr. Abhishek Upadhyay emphasized that e-commerce and the digital economy will be the axes on which the bilateral trade investment is most likely to grow in the most pandemic period. There is a need for us to develop capabilities and expertise in these things so that consumer trust can be gained at the same time assuring a seamless flow across the border. 5Ps industry has key opportunities ahead to change gears and benefits from the immense opportunities that lie ahead. The focus areas will be processed foods, Herbal products & agriculture products & High clothing and footwear, furniture, I think these could be the areas that see a lot of growth. We can ensure that our business from India and Nepal can benefit from these opportunities.
Mr. Puskal Gautam, President, Federation of Nepal Printers’ Association, Nepal mentioned that Nepal has a strong belief that exhibition brings out the opportunity of the concerned sectors, and the print and packaging industry will have growth and business opportunities in the future.
Mr. Prem Anveshi, Managing Director, Futurex Trade Fair & Events Pvt. Ltd talked about the transformation of business exchange and exhibitions due to the pandemic that will be new normal in the future.
Mr. Srijal Bhattarai, Managing Director, Media Space, Nepal mentioned that virtual exhibitions can be seen as an opportunity in creating entrepreneurs, opening new markets between Nepal and abroad, and business partnership.
Dr. Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, President, Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Nepal while lauding the efforts of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their constant efforts discussed the transformational change in the business models and dealing in the post-COVID-19 world that will be driven by technology. He discussed the cross connectivity for seamless transportation and load sharing has been removed in Nepal. He also mentioned that Nepal has an experienced labor allowing business ventures to invest in Nepal. He emphasized that after Covid-19, many new technologies and innovation have been developed by India and Nepal should be industrialized in the Tourism Sector
Mr. Naveen Sardana, Chair, International Affairs Committee for South Asia, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry deliberated upon the deep-rooted close relationship shared by India and Nepal in the forms of the open border, trade, culture, and history creating job and business opportunities for the countrymen of both the nations. The relations are maintained with high-level visits, official interactions, and various trade ties. He shared that India is Nepal’s largest trade partner and one of the largest sources of foreign investment. Packaging is one of the high growth sectors of India and India will be one of the hubs for the packaging industry.
Mr. Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the concluding remarks mentioned that India accounts for two-third of merchandise trade. He further thanked all the eminent dignitaries & proposed the vote of thanks to all the delegates.
The session was moderated by Mr. Naveen Seth, Assistant Secretary-General, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and was attended by over 200 industry stalwarts from Indian and Nepal.