KATHMANDU: 'Nepal Investment Summit 2017' cocluded on March 3 with overwhelming response from domestic and international investors to invest in Nepal's various sectors. The Summit was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Investment Board Nepal (IBN) with the objective of inviting foreign investment in key potential sectors that form the backbone of the country's development.
Emerging favorable environment after the promulgation of new constitution, introduction and amendment of laws and policies to facilitate the investment, comparatively improved political stability and top-level political commitment in favor of foreign investment boosted the confidence of existing and potential investors present at the Summit.
Leaders of the major political parties expressed their firm commitment to give high priority to foreign investment which is crucial for narrowing down the existing infrastructure deficit and accelerate Nepal’s economic development. They assured the participants to extend all needful support to facilitate their investment in the country.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Nepal Investment Summit 2017 that kicked off on March 2 in Kathmandu, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal who is also the chairman of CPN Maoist (Center ) said the country had completed a unique journey of peace process and has moved on to a path of economic prosperity. He also added that economic development was impossible without the private sector’s involvement as public investment alone is not sufficient to attain the economic growth that Nepal strives. KP Sharma Oli, chairman of opposition party CPN (UML) also expressed his commitment on promoting foreign investment stating that both ruling and opposition parties are on the same page when it comes to welcoming foreign investment in the country.
Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba also highlighted the role of a robust private sector to amplify investment for creating jobs and increase government revenue, ultimately to help Nepal attain economic prosperity. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minster Krishna Bahadur Mahara said Nepal offers vast markets of neighbouring India and China for the investors.
Speaking as a keynote speaker, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India was deeply committed to helping Nepal in its 'great desire' for economic growth as the country is hosting the Nepal Investment Summit to attract both domestic and foreign investment.
Highlighting the key advantage of Nepal with its natural beauty, culture heritage, unexplored potential of water resources and hard working people, the Indian finance minister stressed on utilising these natural, cultural and human resources for the benefit the nation.
Another keynote speaker, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun expressed his commitment to work with Nepali government and private sector to make a meaningful difference in Nepal’s economic and social development through investment in infrastructure and other productive sectors.
Similary, former Finance Minister and another keynote speaker, also urged national and international investors to take opportunity to harness Nepal's potential sectors of investment stating that existing investors are making lucrative profit investing in Nepal.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi urged investors to seize the opportunity to invest in Nepal stating that investment climate is favorable in the country. Maha Prasad Adhikari, CEO of Investment Board Nepal, highlighted the key sectors of investment in the country.
The event witnessed specific presentations of working papers and discussions during nine thematic sessions like energy, infrastructure, tourism, information and communication technology, financial sector, mines and minerals, agriculture and forest products.
Around 250 institutional and individual investors from 24 countries including India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, France, Italy, Japan, America, Russia, Canada, Britain, South Korea, Finland, Iran, Turkey and Vietnam had participated at the Summit. Similarly, around three hundred local and foreign investors based in Nepal had also taken part.
Also speaking in the plenary session, Shankar Prasad Koirala, secretary at the Ministry of Industry, said that several reform initiatives taken by the government have made Nepal a lucrative destination for investment.
At the sessions, government officials assured the investors of full cooperation in facilitating investment while investors expressed their desired to put money in Nepal if political stability and procedural simplification were ensured. Similarly, leading multinational companies operating in Nepal also shared their positive experience while international donors and deplomats exchanged their experience regarding investment climate in different countries.