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India-Nepal to Strengthen Ties
Jul 29, 2014

India and Nepal agreed to review and update the Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1950, implement the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and finalise the text of a Power Trade Agreement at the earliest, a joint statement issued after a marathon meeting between the two sides. The 26-point joint statement was issued after the meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission concluded. The Joint Commission, co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries also directed the Nepal-India Boundary Working Group to commence field works at the earliest to look into missing border pillars and boundary disputes.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was on a three-day visit to Nepal, leading a high-level delegation for the Joint Commission meeting, which was held after 23 years. The Joint Commission is the highest-level bilateral mechanism and was supposed to meet every two years. The Commission was structured into five clusters. This was the first time that this five cluster approach is being followed. The main issues under those clusters are:

  1. Political, security and border issues

  2. Economic cooperation and infrastructure

  3. Trade and transit

  4. Power and water resources

  5. Culture, education and media

India has 25 bilateral mechanisms with Nepal where interactions take place on a regular basis with the leadership of Nepal. Our bilateral trade with Nepal is approximately 4.7 billion dollars. India accounts for 47 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nepal.

There are six million Nepalese working in India. Annually there are 3,000 Nepalese who are provided scholarships. Currently there are 450 Small Development Projects which India is undertaking in various Districts of Nepal.India started the Goitre Project to rid Nepal of goitre. In 1985 the incidence of goitre in Nepal was approximately 44 per cent. In 2007 when the project was completed that project, it came down to 0.4 per cent. 

In terms of connectivity, apart from an open border that India and Nepal enjoy we also have 60 flights per week from Nepal to India. 20 per cent of all tourists visiting Nepal are from India, and approximately 40 per cent of tourist flows to Nepal are through India. 

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