Six Do­mains of Nepal are Ex­pect­ing Chi­nese In­vestors

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Contents - By Guo Yan

“Dur­ing this visit to China, I’ m se e ing Chi n a with cu­ri­ous eyes, as China is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing un­prece­dent­edly fast de­vel­op­ment and global eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is closely re­lated with China’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. How can we make full use of the op­por­tu­ni­ties that the global econ­omy brings?” said Bid­hya Devi Bhan­dari, pres­i­dent of Nepal dur­ing his re­cent visit to China to at­tend the China-nepal In­vest­ment Fo­rum held by the CCPIT.

In re­cent years, Nepal-sino eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions have kept a sound mo­men­tum for de­vel­op­ment with im­prov­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween en­ter­prises. Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the Min­istry of Com­merce, dur­ing 20062014 Nepal-sino bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume grew from over USD 100 mil­lion to around USD 2.3 bil­lion, up by more than 20 times. Apart from rapid de­vel­op­ment in such do­mains as trade, tourism and avi­a­tion, the Chi­nese en­ter­prises have also seen in­creas­ing in­vest­ments in Nepal with di­rect in­vest­ments of over USD 170 mil­lion in Nepal by the end of last year. And there were around 30 Chi­nese en­ter­prises with big in­vest­ments in the fields in­clud­ing hy­dropower, avi­a­tion, min­er­als and med­i­cal care.

China’s in­vestors may quickly nudge into the South Asian mar­ket through Nepal. China is the sec­ond largest trade part­ner and the sec­ond largest source of for­eign in­vest­ment to Nepal. Radish · Pant, chair­man of Nepal In­vest­ment Bureau par­tic­u­larly men­tioned that Nepal is one found­ing mem­ber of the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank (AIIB) pro­posed by China. Nepal and China signed Agree­ment on Avoid­ance of Dou­ble Tax­a­tion and Agree­ment on Bi­lat­eral In­vest­ment Pro­tec­tion, which may sup­port and pro­tect the in­vestors of both Nepal and China.

What do­mains are suit­able for in­vest­ment in Nepal?

Radish · Pant, chair­man of Nepal In­vest­ment Bureau in­tro­duced that cur­rently Nepal has six at­trac­tive do­mains for in­vest­ment.

“First is the hy­dropower do­main. We cal­cu­late that by 2030 Nepal will have a de­mand for 6,000 MW dy­dropower worth of around USD 1 bil­lion. USD 6.5 bil­lion of in­vest­ment is needed from the as­pect of elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion; from the as­pect of ex­port, by the year of 2030 the South Asian mar­ket will have a tremen­dous power de­mand of ex­ceed­ing 750 GW. More­over, we have signed an en­ergy agree­ment with In­dia to pro­tect in­vest­ments in the power sec­tor. There are also hy­dropower and clean en­ergy to be ex­ported to some other re­gions of South Asia. And I hope these en­ergy can also be ex­ported to China,” said Radish · Pant.

Now many in­vestors have made in­vest­ments in the power do­main. For in­stance, elec­tric­ity is needed for trans­porta­tion to other places. And so far Nepal has eight cross-border high­ca­pac­ity elec­tric wires, in­clud­ing two in the north and six in the south.

It is learned that Nepal is ex­pected to nail down the power trade agree­ment with In­dia by the end of this year, which

will pro­vide equal mar­ket en­try to pro­mote power co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Nepal and In­dia. “En­ergy is our fo­cus, as on one hand we will get tax cut and on the other hand the Nepal gov­ern­ment re­quires less guar­an­tee with land en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion. And we en­sure that all of this will be com­pleted as soon as pos­si­ble with top priority,” Radish · Pant added.

Radish · Pant in­tro­duced that as the sec­ond largest coun­try boast­ing water re­sources, Nepal pos­sesses over 5,000 rivers of dif­fer­ent sizes from Hi­malaya. There­fore, Nepal has tremen­dous po­ten­tial for hy­drop­wer de­vel­op­ment.

Apart from in­vest­ment for hy­dropower, there are some other do­mains with great po­ten­tial, such as in­fra­struc­ture, busi­ness, agri­cul­ture, min­er­als and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“If there are many rail­ways across the coun­try, many in­vestors will be at­tracted and the problem of ur­ban traf­fic will be solved. Kat­mandu has a pop­u­la­tion of 4 mil­lion with traf­fic need and com­ple­tion of the rail­ways will make travel for Kat­mandu cit­i­zens con­ve­nient,” Radish · Pant pointed out.

Ac­cord­ing to Ra­jesh ··Qazi Shrestha, chair­man of Nepal Cham­ber of Com­merce, the re­gions around Hi­malaya are rich in her­bal medicine re­sources. China’s tech­nolo­gies and agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment will help Nepal in terms of farm­ing de­vel­op­ment.

“Nepal has lots of farm prod­ucts. Farm prod­ucts and pro­cess­ing of farm prod­ucts is our fo­cus. We have lots of prod­ucts, but in­fra­struc­ture to trans­port the prod­ucts to the mar­ket is not in place,” Radish · Pant said.

“We hope to in­ten­sify ef­forts in de­vel­op­ing cul­tural tourism and even ad­ven­ture tourism. And we can also hold some meet­ing or ac­tiv­i­ties. In the past four years, the num­ber of tourists grew at a rate of 4%. Some months ago, we of­fered free tourist visa to warmly wel­come tourists from China,” Radish · Pant added.

In the year of 2015, Nepal was se­verely hit by earth­quake, which de­stroyed some in­fra­struc­ture and thus large-scale re­con­struc­tion is on­go­ing. Ra­jesh ··Qazi Shrestha, chair­man of Nepal Cham­ber of Com­merce said that Nepal highly wel­comes China’s ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy and in­fra­struc­ture providers to sup­port Nepal for re­con­struc­tion. “Nepal is very rich in hy­dropower re­sources, and solar en­ergy, wind en­ergy and biomass en­ergy have great po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ment, which may help us to achieve com­mon pros­per­ity.” He said.

Ac­cord­ing to Bid­hya Devi Bhan­dari, in­ter­est rates of­fered by the banks of Nepal are very com­pet­i­tive, and the gov­ern­ment is en­cour­ag­ing China to con­sider set­ting up a branch of Bank of China in Nepal in a bid to pro­mote in­vest­ment.

The CCPIT proac­tively boosts eco­nomic and trade ties be­tween the Chi­nese en­ter­prises and Nepal coun­ter­parts

2016 is the first year of China’s 13th Five-year Plan. Dur­ing the 13th Five-year Plan pe­riod, China’s econ­omy will main­tain a high speed of de­vel­op­ment with an im­port vol­ume of over USD 1 bil­lion, for­eign in­vest­ment of over USD 500 bil­lion and more than 500 mil­lion out­bound tourists for trav­el­ing, vis­it­ing, shop­ping and tourism, all of which will bring more mar­ket and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for all the coun­tries in­clud­ing Nepal.

Yin Zonghua, vice chair­man of the CCPIT said that as the largest trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion agency, the CCPIT has main­tained a very close tie with Nepal’s in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial do­main and the CCPIT would like to join hands with Nepal’s coun­ter­parts to cre­ate more plat­forms and op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the en­ter­prises of the two sides.

First, the CCPIT will proac­tively or­ga­nize the Chi­nese en­ter­prises to in­vest in Nepal. As con­struc­tion of the “Belt and Road” is ac­cel­er­at­ing, more and more Chi­nese en­ter­prises would like to in­vest in Nepal. The CCPIT will jointly hold sem­i­nars, in­tro­duc­tion and project brief­ing with Nepal’s rel­e­vant busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments and will pro­vide in­for­ma­tion con­sult­ing and le­gal sup­port re­gard­ing com­mer­cial af­fairs to help the Chi­nese en­ter­prises learn more about Nepal’s in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment and project sit­u­a­tion.

Sec­ond, the CCPIT will greatly sup­port the Chi­nese en­ter­prises to im­port from Nepal. Dur­ing the 13th Five- year Plan pe­riod, China will im­ple­ment a more proac­tive im­port pol­icy to im­port more ad­vanced tech­ni­cal equip­ment and qual­ity con­sumer goods. The CCPIT will bring its su­pe­ri­or­ity in terms of con­nec­tion with the do­mes­tic en­ter­prises into full play to sup­port the Nepal gov­ern­ment, com­mer­cial as­so­ci­a­tions and rel­e­vant en­ter­prises to launch prod­uct pro­mo­tion in China and to share Chi­nese con­sumers’ recog­ni­tion to­wards Nepal’s prod­ucts. In the mean time, the CCPIT will or­ga­nize en­ter­prises con­cerned to con­duct ne­go­ti­a­tions with an aim to launch more qual­ity Nepalese prod­ucts into the Chi­nese mar­ket.

Third, the CCPIT will proac­tively con­duct com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion with Nepal’s in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial cir­cle. So far, the CCPIT has signed co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments with Nepal Cham­ber of In­dus­try and Com­merce and Nepal Fed­er­a­tion of In­dus­tries.

Wang Li­jie, vice pres­i­dent of China Rail­way In­ter­na­tional Corp., said that Nepal now has the sec­ond air­port project and rail­way project with a con­tract vol­ume of $ 107 mil­lion. Wang hopes that Nepal will pro­vide nec­es­sary pref­er­en­tial poli­cies in terms of tax­a­tion, for­eign ex­change set­tle­ment and green chan­nel for cus­toms clear­ance for the Chi­nese en­ter­prises to con­duct big projects and in­fra­struc­ture projects in Nepal. Be­sides, Wang hopes that the Chi­nese stan­dards and ar­chi­tec­ture spec­i­fi­ca­tions will be ap­plied in the nec­es­sary fields. The ap­proval pro­ce­dures are ex­pected to be han­dled quickly for the key projects and large- scale pro­grams with Chi­nese in­vest­ments. Cul­tural ex­changes be­tween Nepal and China are sup­posed to be en­cour­aged and boosted for the con­sid­er­a­tion of deep­en­ing mu­tual un­der­stand­ing.

“Nepal is very rich in hy­dropower re­sources, and solar en­ergy, wind en­ergy and biomass en­ergy have great po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ment, which may help us to achieve com­mon pros­per­ity.”

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