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...

Mr. Dhar­men­dra Deben­dra Prad­han, Hon'ble Min­is­ter of State for Pe­tro­leum & Nat­u­ral Gas ad­dress­ing In­dia-Nepal Busi­ness Fo­rum.

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