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Nepal Investment Summit 2017: Making case for investing in Nepal

Prime Minister Dahal, ministers and top NC, UML leaders commit to promoting a good business environment

Kathmandu, March 3, 2017: Top political leaders, including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, on Thursday made a strong pitch for foreign investment in Nepal and expressed commitment to a good business environment.

Delivering the inaugural speech at the Nepal Investment Summit-2017, PM Dahal said that after completing the peace process, “we have strengthened the very base for development—that is democracy and fortified the very base for prosperity—that is peace.” “Our peace process is a success story of our times. The political transformation is remarkable. Then why should not we multiply our efforts in creating an economic success story of our time,” added PM Dahal. “What better time it could be than this to fortify our political transformation by an economic transformation.”

The two-day summit, jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Investment Board Nepal, is taking place in the country for the second time since first was one was held in the 1990s and aims to attract foreign investment in nine key development sectors of Nepal.

The summit saw Nepali political leaders keeping aside their differences and making unequivocal commitment to extend all the support that is required to facilitate foreign investment in the country.

CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli said both ruling and opposition parties are on same page when it comes to welcoming foreign investment in the country. “On behalf of the opposition party, I want to assure you that your investment will be safe in Nepal,” he said. Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba stressed the role a robust private sector can play in creating jobs, generating revenues and helping the country achieve prosperity.

Speakers at the event also pointed the benefit of the huge market of 2.5 billion people of Nepal’s two giant neighbours—India and China.

“Investors might be concerned about the market before investing in Nepal,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minster Krishna Bahadur Mahara. “Nepal’s trade relations with neighbouring countries will give a lucrative access to rapidly growing markets there.”

Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi briefed the participants on the improved investment climate in Nepal with the endorsement of new laws.

“The government recently passed Industrial Enterprises Act and Special Economic Zone Act,” said Joshi. “Now, we are working to introduce Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act (FITTA), Intellectual Property Rights Act and Company Act.”

Two key speakers during the inauguration on Thursday were Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitely.

Assuring AIIB’s help to tap natural resources of Nepal, Jin said: “In Nepal, we will invest in projects that are financially sustainable and environmentally friendly, and are accepted by the local people. As a multilateral development bank, part of our job is to help countries pick projects which improve their social and economic outcomes.”

Similarly, calling on Nepal to make its environment favourable for investors, Jaitely said investors from all over the world are looking at areas to invest, and countries that make their environment friendly assuring safety of and return on investment will be the recipient of investment.

By Bibek Subedi