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The President of Nepal, Ms. Bidya Devi Bhandari being received by the President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee and the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, at the Ceremonial Reception, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday said that after its political transformation, socio-economic transformation is Nepal’s top priority and the country is keen to benefit from India’s tremendous progress.

“Nepal has undergone political transformation of historic proportion in recent years. Now socio-economic transformation is our topmost priority. If not backed by economic transformation, political transformation cannot be sustainable,” Bhandari said at an event here organised by industry chambers CII, Ficci and Assocham.

She said achievements made by India in economic, social, scientific and other fields are remarkable and Nepal is keen to benefit from India’s success.

“For Nepal, India remains the largest trading partner… We are closely engaged in SAARC, BIMSTEC and BBIN and these regional and sub-regional platforms could be made more effective in delivering results,” she said.

Emphasising that Nepal treats the private sector as a partner for development, Bhandari pointed out that Nepal has opened up almost every sector for foreign investment, including manufacturing, hydropower, tourism, services, mining and agro-based industries.

“The government is committed to creating a climate conducive to investment… the administrative procedures have been streamlined and made business-friendly.

“No discrimination is made between Nepali and Indian investors. Numerous similarities make us natural partners. BIPPA (Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement) with India is under consideration for ratification while the double taxation avoidance agreement has already been signed,” the Nepali President said.

Inviting the Indian businesses to invest in her country, Bhandari said a prosperous Nepal will also be “in the interest of our neighbourhood and beyond”.

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