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Nepal-India Relations Vital for Unlocking North Bengal's Economic Potential

B360 March 21, 2024, 4:07 pm
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SILLIGURI: The 3rd Edition of the “Prospects for North Bengal – Investments in Sustainability” an initiative of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BNCC&I) held today (21st March 2024) at Siliguri, India with the objective to understand, discuss and initiate dialogues for business opportunities and investments in the sectors which are thriving in North Bengal and also the one which have more potential for accelerating the growth of North Bengal.

Delivering a keynote remarks in the inaugural session of the event, Vice President of Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NICCI) Mr. Sunil KC underscored the untapped opportunities for economic cooperation between Nepal and India, particularly in the context of North Bengal. He emphasized the need for a holistic approach to development, prioritizing sustainability and inclusivity while leveraging the region's natural resources and strategic location.

Mr. KC proposed key recommendations for economic growth, including further investments in infrastructure development, which he deemed essential for unlocking North Bengal's full economic potential. He emphasized the necessity of increased investment in improving road, rail, and air connectivity along the Siliguri corridor, a crucial transit route linking Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal (BBIN). Upgrading existing infrastructure and establishing logistics hubs were identified as priorities to facilitate the seamless movement of goods and people across borders.

Secondly, he advocated for facilitating cross-border trade and investments, which emerged as a central theme of discussions. Mr. KC stressed the importance of simplifying customs procedures and reducing trade barriers to promote greater economic integration within the BBIN region. He also proposed the creation of special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial parks along the Siliguri corridor to attract foreign investments and spur economic growth.

Finally, Mr. KC emphasized recognizing the imperative of sustainable development. Participants underscored the need to integrate environmental considerations into business operations and investment decisions, including promoting the adoption of green technologies, supporting renewable energy initiatives, and implementing environmentally friendly practices across industries. By prioritizing sustainability, North Bengal can position itself as a responsible and attractive destination for investors committed to long-term environmental stewardship.

Mr. Gautam Deb, Mayor of Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Mr. Andalib Elias, Deputy High Commissioner, People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kolkata, Mr. Eshor Raj Poudel, Consul General of Nepal in Kolkata, Mr. Bhaskar Roy, and Vice President Techno India Group also spoke at the event, representing their respective organizations.

The event successfully brought together industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to explore avenues for investment and development in North Bengal, with a particular focus on leveraging the region's strengths and potential for sustainable growth.

Throughout the event, stakeholders engaged in fruitful discussions and networking sessions aimed at identifying collaborative opportunities and forging partnerships for mutual benefit. The importance of innovation, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing emerged as key drivers of economic growth and sustainability in North Bengal.

Ms. Angana Guha Roy Chowdhury, Assistant Director-General of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed gratitude to all participants for their valuable insights and contributions. She reaffirmed BCCI's commitment to supporting initiatives promoting sustainable development and inclusive growth in North Bengal, underscoring the organization's role as a catalyst for positive change in the region.

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MARCH 2024

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