PMs Narendra Modi and K.P. Sharma Oli
PMs Narendra Modi and K.P. Sharma Oli

India, Nepal agree to enhance bilateral trade, connectivity

ANI | Updated: May 12, 2018 20:14 IST

New Delhi [India], May 12 (ANI): India and Nepal on Saturday agreed to enhance their bilateral trade and connectivity respectively.
As per a joint statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the two Prime Ministers of India and Nepal, Narendra Modi and K.P. Sharma Oli underscored the importance of trade and economic ties between India and Nepal.
Expressing concern over Nepal's growing trade deficit with India, the Nepal Prime Minister stated that measures to address this deficit need to be taken.
In this context, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the outcome of the recently held Inter-Governmental Committee meeting on key issues such trade, transit and cooperation.
Both the leader discussed ways to control unauthorised trade to jointly initiate a comprehensive review of the bilateral treaty of trade, and to consider amendments to the treaty of transit and related agreements with a view to further facilitating Nepal's access to the Indian market, enhancing overall bilateral trade, and facilitating Nepal's transit trade.
The two Prime Ministers underlined the catalytic role of connectivity in stimulating economic growth and promoting movement of people.
They agreed to take further steps to enhance the economic and physical connectivity by air, land, and water. Recognizing the vibrant people to people contacts and friendly bilateral ties, the two Prime Ministers directed the respective officials to expand cooperation in the civil aviation sector, including early technical discussion on additional air entry routes to Nepal by respective technical teams, the statement read.
With a view to further strengthening the close religious and cultural ties between the two countries and peoples, the two Prime Ministers launched Nepal-India Ramayana Circuit connecting Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, with Ayodhya and other sites associated with the epic Ramayana.
In Janakpur, the two Prime Ministers flagged off the inaugural direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya.
The two Prime Ministers emphasised the need for the regular convening of bilateral mechanisms, including Nepal-India Joint Commission at Foreign and External Affairs Ministers level, to review the overall state of bilateral relations, and for the expeditious implementation of the economic and development cooperation projects, the statement added.
While reviewing the close and multifaceted relations between the two countries at different levels, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their resolve to work together to take bilateral relations to newer heights by strengthening ongoing cooperation in diverse spheres as well as expanding partnership for socio-economic development on the basis of the principles of equality, mutual trust, respect and mutual benefit.
The two Prime Ministers recalled their meeting in New Delhi during the state visit of Prime Minister Oli last month and agreed to maintain the momentum generated by the visit by taking effective measures for the implementation of all the agreements and understandings reached in the past, the statement continued.
They also agreed that effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in agriculture, railway linkages and inland waterways development, as agreed upon by the two sides during the recent visit of Prime Minister Oli to India, would have a transformational impact in these areas.
Prime Minister Modi also visited Janakpur and Muktinath and attended civic receptions in Kathmandu and Janakpur. (ANI)