The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) today said it would open an office in Kathmandu and set up an India-Nepal strategy forum to boost economic ties between the two neighbouring countries.
"Confederation of Nepalese Industry (CNI) has offered an office space in the Trade Tower, where its office is located, in Kathmandu," it said, adding that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has also been signed between FICCI and CNI in the presence of the minister of industries Anil Jha and Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad yesterday.
According to FICCI, the India-Nepal Strategy Forum will be co-chaired by former Indian ambassador to Nepal and advisor to FICCI Shiv Shankar Mukherjee.
FICCI and CNI will also publish a monthly magazine on bilateral relations in three languages — English, Hindi and Nepali — to regularly update the masses.Bilateral economic relations between Nepal and India have been increasing over the years as the bilateral trade between the two South Asian countries has grown from $166 million in 1996 to over $2.7 billion in 2010-11.Indian firms are the biggest investors in Nepal, accounting for about 44 per cent of total approved foreign direct investment (FDI).
Recently, the two countries signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) followed by Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) last week to share banking and tax evasion information to stop the flow of dirty money between the two countries.