India and Nepal on Friday use used a new era in bilateral economic relations and concluded three important pacts. India has extended a $250 million Line of Credit (LoC) to boost infrastructure projects in Nepal and signed an investment protection pact with the Himalayan state, without any risk, to support bilateral businesses. However, the Trade Ministers were unable to agree on duty-free access for 108 Nepalese products on the Bangladeshi market and preferential access for 50 Bangladeshi products on the Nepalese market, as both sides agreed that the list needed to be revised. The portal was created by a joint venture of the Government of Nepal, the Ministry of Industry (MOI) and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), in collaboration with USAID/NEAT Activity. On the second day of his visit to India, Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai held in-depth talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during which the issue of the ongoing peace process and the proposal to integrate Maoist fighters into the Nepal Army played an important role. “The Maoists themselves are the main cause of instability. How can they implement the agreement that involves compensating Indian companies for unrest? “He asked. The fourth Nepal-Bangladesh Trade Minister`s level meeting on trade, transit and economic cooperation concluded today with the commitment to seal the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPPA) between the two nations as soon as possible. After the agreement was signed on Friday, Bhattarai said he had taken the risk, knowing there would be protests in Nepal. It was reported that India was discussing with Bhattarai the status of two Hydel Power projects built by India`s private energy company GMR. India has made efforts by the Nepalese government to strengthen the safety of GMR workers and employees in the Hydel Upper Karnali and Upper Marshyangdi projects.

The signature of the BIPPA is important in this case. Nepal`s Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said he feared a counter-reaction to Saturday`s signing of the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement with India. Similarly, Bangladesh assured that its relevant authority would review the draft BIPPA as soon as it was received and that the Authority would take the necessary steps for the early conclusion of the agreement between the two nations. “You can`t build a nation without taking risks. And sometimes you have to play,” the Republica quoted in front of a group of Nepalese editors who accompanied the prime minister`s delegation. At Nepal`s request, Bangladesh also agreed to review the high reference price and other non-tariff barriers in order to facilitate Nepal`s main export products to Bangladesh. The two sides also decided to develop a mechanism to deal with high tariffs and other taxes and customs duties (IPRs) on products imported from Nepal to Bangladesh and vice versa. “Bhattarais` irresponsible action without consultation with other parties has undermined Nepal`s nationalism,” Khanal said in a speech in the capital on Saturday. . .

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