New statute has buoyed foreign investors

Minister: New statute has buoyed foreign investors

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 25, 2015

 Potential foreign investors have been showing greater interest in Nepal after the promulgation of a new constitution, Industry Minister Mahesh Basnet said on Thursday.Addressing a programme on the government’s Foreign Investment Policy and directive to use domestically manufactured products, Basnet said a number of foreign companies had shown interest in investing in Nepal.“After the promulgation of the constitution, the investment climate seems to have improved. We are receiving queries from a number of interested foreign parties,” he said. “We need to cash in on this development.”According to Basnet, the government has decided to celebrate the current fiscal year as Investment Year, and that the promulgation of the new constitution has made the environment more favorable. The current fiscal year’s budget has allocated funds to the Ministry of Industry to organize the year-long promotional programme.He said that the new Foreign Investment Policy and the directive to use local products in government and public enterprise offices would help create a conducive business environment in the country. “All we need to do is ensure proper implementation of the policy and directive,” he added.

Likewise, Industry Secretary Jay Mukunda Khanal said that the government’s investment policy and directive would play an instrumental role in lifting domestic industry and attracting investment.According to the ministry’s statistics, the country has received foreign direct investment pledges totalling of Rs184 billion so far. However, in the absence of a proper policy to woo foreign investors, the investment pledges have not been been translated into action and actual investments have remained dismal. “The newly-introduced Foreign Investment Policy envisions attracting foreign investors and making our policy compatible with the agreements that Nepal has signed at bilateral and multilateral forums,” said Yam Kumari Khatiwada, joint secretary of the ministry.

The country’s private sector has praised the ministry for bringing out the new Foreign Investment Policy and directive to use locally made products.“There are still some issues that need to be taken care of. However, the policies have incorporated most of the demands and ideas of the private sector. I believe the investment policy, in particular, will play an instrumental role in boosting foreign investment in the days to come,” said Bhawani Rana, the senior vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).Likewise, Narendra Kumar Basnyat, the president of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), stressed the need to formalize the policy at the earliest to make sure that the foreign investment pledges are converted into actual investments.