India’s role important in trilateral, regional cooperation: Gowher Rizvi

Prime Minister’s International Affairs adviser Gowher Rizvi has said India has an “important role” to play in giving the trilateral and regional cooperation with Nepal a “real impetus”.

Published : 4 Dec 2017, 07:28 PM
Updated : 4 Dec 2017, 07:28 PM

He was speaking at a roundtable on 'Prospects and Challenges on Nepal-India-Bangladesh Trilateral Co-operation' in Kathmandu on Monday.

Kathmandu-based think-tank, the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and the Bangladesh embassy in Kathmandu co-hosted the event.

AIDIA said the major objective of the programme was to discuss the prospects and challenges of economic cooperation among Nepal-India-Bangladesh, and recommend the policy priority to all respective governments “to promote mutually inclusive economic benefits”.

Rizvi talked about “ignored proximity by the member states and stressed on promoting commonalities is the first steps towards trilateral and regional cooperation”.

He “acknowledged that as a major economic giant of the region India should play the important role to give the real impetus for the trilateral and regional co-operation”.

The prime ministerial adviser focused on energy cooperation, as he said energy crisis is a major impediment to inclusive economic growth of the region.

“In order to take the optimum advantage of our proximity, connectivity should be the central part of our effort,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

He also talked about the need for exploring Mongla and Chittagong ports as Bangladesh has already allowed Nepal to use those port facilities.

The international affairs adviser talked about promoting spiritual tourism and importance of cooperation in the area like climate change.

He expressed the need for high-level well-prepared dialogue between Bangladesh, India and Nepal, and said he will take this idea to Dhaka.

Agreeing on most of the areas touched by Rizvi, Nepal’s Commerce Secretary Chandra Kumar Ghimire said connectivity should be “prioritised to promote cross-border economic activities”.

Representatives from different diplomatic missions, policy experts, academician, business persons, government authorities, and media were present among others at the roundtable.

CEO of AIDIA Sunil KC said respective governments should “seriously engage in the promotion of trilateral cooperation and promise to continue such forum for healthy discourse aiming to contribute mutually beneficial relations”.

Bangladesh Ambassador in Nepal Mashfee Binte Shams delivered the welcome remark at the roundtable.