Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as ‘Prachanda’, arrived in New Delhi on a state visit to India for 5-days beginning 15th September’08, said that his country’s ties with India were crucial and cannot be compared with that of China right now although Nepal also wants to develop ties with China.
At a luncheon meeting held in the honor of the visiting dignitary by Indian business houses CII, Ficci and Assocham in New Delhi, the Nepali PM specifically said, “Because of our cultural and historical tradition of economic interdependence relations with India are crucial and vital and cannot be compared with China.”
For much of the meeting, Prachanda made a strong plea for Indian investment in Nepal saying, “The government of Nepal remains committed to adopt every possible measure to provide investors the necessary security including repatriation of capital and profit earned by them.” He said all this to allay fears from industry houses in India who were worried about the security and labor problem in Nepal in the wake of labor problem faced by Dabour Group of India, which has a manufacturing facility in Nepal.
Prachanda further said that a high-level investment board, headed by him, would be constituted to introduce reforms in industrial policy to create a simple and investment-friendly environment to ensure fast track solutions to industrial problems.
Here it will be worthwhile to mention some geographical and ethnic data regarding Nepal. One of the seven countries in the Indian Subcontinent, Nepal is perched on the southern slopes of Himalayas sandwiched between India and China, with an area of about 147000 sqkm and population of 30 million, 85% of which are Hindus and rest are mainly Buddhist and Muslims. The literacy rate is 54%, the per capita income USD 345 and the average life expectancy 60 years.
The highest peak of the world, Mount Everest (29,035ft) lies on its northern boarder with Tibet in China. The Nepalese currency is also Rupee and is tied to Indian Rupee by an exchange rate of 1.6. The Capital Kathmandu is situated in a valley in the middle of Nepal. Kathmandu with a population of seven hundred thousand is an international destination for tourists. Curiously enough Nepal has no railway service.
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