KATHMANDU, March 27: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has called on the Chinese investors and businessmen to invest in Nepal as there were prospects for investments and returns in every sector.
The Prime Minister addressing the Roundtable on Investment Opportunities in Nepal organised by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade in Beijing today said, “The cost of labor is comparatively lower and there are abundant opportunities of investment.”
“Nepal and China are both old friends and close friends. Our relations date back to the ancient past. History, tradition, cultural values and geography link us inextricably, and our destiny is intertwined. Our political relations are cordial which are founded on Panchasheel. Similarly, our economic relations with China are age old. Merchants from either side of the Himalayas used to engage in trade and commerce with each other in early days. This relation has been continuously strengthened by manifold,” the PM stated.
Stating that now, China is Nepal’s largest source of FDI and the second largest trade partner, the PM said, “Flow of investment from China is increasing. When we convened the Nepal Investment Summit on 2nd and 3rd of this month, investment pledges from Chinese investors alone was 61 percent.”
“China has shown a remarkable success in its economic transformation –in scale as well as speed. You have made China the second largest economy in the world and the largest in terms of PPP adjusted GDP. It is the world’s largest exporter of merchandise goods and second largest FDI provider -a global leader in development finance -and a key driver of global growth. This spectacular performance of China is an encouraging feat.
And being a close neighbour of China, it is natural for Nepal to aspire for enhanced partnership between two countries –for partnership whose fruits can be reaped by both the sides. Nepal’s advantage lies in our rich natural resources, abundance of labour force, and our location between two large economies. As we have entered into the phase of economic buildup of nation after consolidating political changes, our need for infrastructures and modern amenities is huge. The growing middle class is creating a healthy demand on economy. Political parties in Nepal are united and have consensus on development efforts. Our priority now is in investment, business and trade.
We are emerging as a nation –which is confident of its capabilities and potential; which is aware of its resources and prospects. Our people are determined to build a prosperous Nepal. Build with domestic efforts coupled with support from friends. Prospect for cooperation is good in various sectors. Nepal is a virgin land. Investment anywhere and everywhere is full of prospect.
The richness of water resources for a country of our size is unparalleled. Given our abundance of water resources, hydropower could be a prime choice for Chinese investors. It can be a source of energy that can fuel up Nepal’s economy as well as that of the region. There is tremendous potential in tapping the mineral resources including petroleum in Nepal. Similarly, we can enhance our partnership for modernization of agriculture.
China is an important source of international tourism market. The flow of Chinese tourists to Nepal has been growing. As we are gifted by beautiful bounty of nature as well as culture, Himalayas as well as heritage, wildlife as well as spiritual sites –tourism sector bears a potential to be a mover of our economy. Joint efforts are needed to utilize this prospect. Nepal has been organizing several promotional programs in China to present tourism destinations and potentials. We count on your continuous support and cooperation in our efforts.
We are planning for several cross-border connectivity corridors, railways and transmission lines. Establishing new international airports in Bhairahawa, Pokhara and Nijgadh is in our priority. Both of our governments are actively considering the development of cross border facilities and establishing cross border economic zones near the border. The growing number of English speaking and digitally connected young population is our important asset.
As an LDC, we have preferential access to international market. Labor cost is low and competitive. Government is vigorously pursuing the Chinese language training for Nepali people both in Nepal and China. Rate of return is high. Some joint ventures are making decent profit within the short span of time. Chinese investors can have easy and quick access in vast South Asian market via Nepal. Goods Made in Nepal and Made by China would have a competitive edge in South Asian Market. More importantly, high respect prevails among Nepali hearts for Chinese people as trusted friends. Our geographical proximity and cultural similarity further make the business engagement easier. We have financial gaps. Our energy base is narrow. There is a paucity of technology. But we are moving in a right direction to tap these resources. And, the abundant financial and technical capability as well as increasing business outreach of China can accelerate this move. We can create a symbiotic partnership in business sectors of our two countries. It would be a situation of win-win collaboration.
We have been incessantly pursuing for making Nepal a prominent destination for investment and international business – a destination which is attractive, profitable and safe. We have adopted liberal investment and business policies. And, we are committed to further streamline them. Export and import rules and procedures have been made market friendly, open and liberal. Simplified and liberal visa rules apply to the investors and their dependents. We permit full repatriation of income earned from the investment. Our tax regime is transparent, predictable and investor friendly. Labour law is being further reformed. We have made administrative procedures simple and transparent. Our bureaucracy is marching towards competence. Our government machinery is easily accessible.
We have robust institutional setup. We have the single window facility for the foreign investors. Our market-friendly incentive structure makes Nepal an attractive destination for business. Our presence in global economic and trading regime including WTO, World Bank and IMF make doing business in Nepal more predictable. We joined AIIB last year. We also believe that a successful Belt and Road Initiative will bring prosperity and development in the region and beyond. Our commitments and efforts have brought us some remarkable results. In the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, we rank second in South Asia. According to the World Economic Forum, Nepal has the best macroeconomic environment in South Asia. Our global rank in this pillar is 27th. I invite the investors, entrepreneurs and businesspersons from China to make best of the opportunity available in Nepal.
We extend all needful support to facilitate your business venture in Nepal. I encourage you to make the optimum use of opportunities. And to those who are exploring the business prospect, I promise you that your venture in Nepal will be profitable and secure. Let me once again thank the organizers for this opportunity. I expect for continued interaction and exchanges.” RSS