Connectivity and Tradewas focus of Prime Ministerof IndiaNarendra Modi’s latest State Visit to Nepal from 11 to 12 May 2018 at the invitation of Prime Ministerof Nepal K P Sharma Oli. Joint inauguration of the 900-MW Arun-III hydroelectric power projectwas highlight of the visit attended by both the Prime Ministers expressing hope that operationalisation of the project would help enhance cooperation in the generation and trade of power between the two countries.
Prime Minister Modiduring his visit said, “As Nepal enters a new era of consolidating gains of democracy and achieving rapid economic growth and development, India will continue to remain a steadfast partner of Nepal to implement its vision of ‘‘अखंडए समृधऔरसशक्तनेपालष्”,” and quoted, “सर्वेभवन्तुसुखिनरू सर्वेसन्तुनिरामयारू।सर्वेभद्राणिपश्यन्तुमाकश्चत्दिुःखभाग्भवेत्”।
India-Nepal issued a Joint Statement during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Nepal:
- The two Prime Ministers recalled their meeting in New Delhi during the State visit of Prime Minister Olifrom April 6-8, 2018and 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.
- Agreed that effective implementation of the bilateral initiatives in Agriculture; Railway Linkages and Inland Waterways Developmentwould have transformational impact in these areas.
- Underscored the importance of trade and economic ties between India and Nepal and to control unauthorised trade.
- Agreed to address Nepal’s deficit and further facilitating Nepal’s access to the Indian market, enhancing overall bilateral trade, and facilitating Nepal’s transit trade
- Underlined the catalytic role of connectivity in stimulating economic growth and agreed to intensify land, air and water connectivity and increase people-to-people contact.
- Reiterated the importance of advancing cooperation in water resources for mutual benefit in areas such as river training works, inundation and flood management, irrigation, and to enhance pace of implementation of ongoing bilateral projects.
- Expressed satisfactions over constitution of the joint team that will visit areas affected by inundation and floods and consider appropriate measures for sustainable solution.
- The two Prime Ministers launched Nepal-India Ramayana Circuit connecting Janakpur, the birthplace of Sita, with Ayodhya, the birth place of Ram and other sites associated with the epic Ramayana, with a view to further strengthening the close religious and cultural ties between the two countries and peoples.
- In Janakpur, the two Prime Ministers flagged off the inaugural direct bus service between Janakpur and Ayodhya.
- The two Prime Ministers directed their respective officials to address outstanding matters by September 2018, with the objective of advancing cooperation in all areas.
- Underscored importance of regional and sub-regional cooperation under BIMSTEC, SAARC, and BBIN frameworks for forging meaningful cooperation in identified sectors.
Prime Minister of India said Nepal must identify its needs and priorities to deliver results, “India will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal in its development journey. Your success is our success and your joy is our joy,” and added that his party’s slogan सबकासाथसबकाविकास, was as much about global well-being as it was about India’s growth