ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR INVESTMENT
Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Rt. Hon'ble Mr. SherBahadur Deuba was on a five-day state visit to India starting August 23, 2017. The Prime Minister addressed a business meeting organized by ASSOCHAM jointly with cn and FICCL
"There exists a strong convergence of views among Nepal's major political parties that the country is poised to stand at a critical economic juncture. We cannot lose sight of this window of opportunity. Nepal is truly open forbusiness", he said.
Emphasizing Nepal's advantageous position, he said, "with the rise of India and China as global economic powers, all major growth poles in Asia are within a few hours of flying distance from Kathmandu. Nepal can be the new melting pot for tourists, traders and investors" .
Mr. Deuba further said, "We offerflexiblerules and incentives on return on capital and profit. As a least developed country, we enjoy duty-free across to the European market and have recently received preferential market entry into the United States for over 60 products. Nepal is an attractive platform for export-oriented investment in products that have a highvalue-to-weight ratio. Our labour force is loyal, disciplined and affordable. And in an era of climatechange,we aimtomeetall our energy needs through clean sources. Nepal's hydropower, for example, can spur highenergy high-tech sectors, and displace dirty sources of fuel across South Asia".
The new generation of economicreformsareonthe anvil. Since the introduction of VAT, over twenty years ago, reforms of that scale have not taken root since, which shall soon change. Just in the past few months, laws and policies on foreign investment, public-private partnership, special economic zones, industrial enterprise, labour, mining, banking and intellectual property have been enacted, he added.
He informed that his country was actively pursuing new processes and institutions to attract large scale investment. The 900 megawatt Ar u n3 and the 900 megawatt Upper Karnali hydropower projects both involve Indian capital are being facilitated by the investment Board of Nepal. Early this year, we hosted the Investment summit where we attracted a pledge of 14 billion, which is almost half the size of our GDP."
He said, intense physical connectivity through roads, rail and air is key to lowering business costs and deepening people-to-peopleties.
Mr. Nirvana Chaudhary, Chairman, ASSOCHAMNepal Chapter informed that Indian jointventuresin Nepal constitute about one third of total joint ventures in Nepal, which are in manysectorsincluding, tourism, infrastructure, consumer durables and non-durables and export oriented industries.
Talking about the opportunities in the hydropower sector, he said that there was a potential of commercially developing about 43,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity in Nepal, which was yet to be explored fully.
There are many companies in India who are keen to invest in Nepal with partnerships with local entities specially for upgrading the much needed airport in Ka thmand u or Railway and other infrastructure development which is the key
at priority mentioned in Nepal's recent budget as well.
Nepal has embarked on the policy of putting the economic agenda in the forefront of development. It is in this context Nepal has recently come up with new Industrial Enterprise Act, Special Economic Zone Act, Company Act, Bank and Financial Institution Act, Labor Act, Social Security Act and various investment friendly policies and regulations. This has created an enabling environment for investment in Nepal and doing business.
Mr. Mal vinder Mohan Singh, Vice President, FICCI urged enhanced investments in the hydropower sector which remains one of the least explored. It is estimated that around 250 small and large rivers flow from Nepal to India and have the potential to become major sources of irrigation and power and need to be tapped for .development of hydroelectric projects.
The establishment of a Joint Task Force to promote Indian investments in Nepal in the focus areas of infrastructure, project management and consultancy servicesandhealthcare,wasalso discussed.
Mr. Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman, Economic Affairs Council, while giving the closing remarks, said India has always been a close friend of Nepal and a partner in its development."We arehopefulthatwith thisvisitofthe Hon'ble Prime Minister of Nepal, we can achieve true economic potential of this relationship between our two countries".
Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister, Ne(finie! being welcomed by Mr. Dharmendra Debendra
Pradhan, Hon'ble Minister of State for Petroleum (fur~ f\atural Gas. Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal addressing the gathering at IndiaNepal Business Forum.
ASSOCHAM organized the India-Nepal Buss Jsil essForum during the visit of Hon. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Mill of listf~r of Nepal, along with other Chambers.
Mr. Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan, Hon'ble Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas addressing India-Nepal Business Forum.