Nepal can be new melting pot for tourists, traders and investors: PM Deuba

NEW DELHI, Aug. 24: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has called upon both business communities from Nepal and India to work together to advance common goal of greater prosperity by building on the strong social ties and heritage that we share.

Addressing a gathering of business leaders from India and Nepal at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Indian capital city New Delhi this evening, the Prime Minister said that after years of policy stalemate and instability, Nepal is on the verge of a growth take-off. “We are ready to gather pace, and we warmly invite you to engage with us. We welcome you to do business in Nepal, invest there, create jobs, and nurture a new climate of innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.

The PM also said two years ago, in 2015, Nepal ended political transition by adapting a highly progressive constitution. With the historic political gains secured, the mood in Nepal is to turn a page and move forward, he stated.

Saying that we now want to take on the generational challenge of rapid economic progress and the time is right for many reasons, Deuba added that 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 for business,” the PM shared.

He further said that 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 and Nepal can be the new melting pot for tourists, traders and investors. Our landscape and culture of hospitality are an additional draw.

Deuba also said that Nepal has enacted laws and policies on foreign investment, public-private partnership, special economic zones, industrial enterprises, labor, mining, banking, and intellectual property.

Likewise, the PM said that we offer flexible rules and incentives on returns on capital and profit. As a least developed country, we enjoy duty-free access to the European market, and have recently received preferential market entry into the United States for over 60 products, he added.

He also said that Nepal’s labor force is loyal, disciplined and affordable. And in an era of climate change, we aim to meet all our energy needs through clean sources and Nepal’s hydropower can spur high-energy high-tech sectors, and displace dirty sources of fuel across South Asia.

According to the PM, intense physical connectivity through roads, rail, and air is key to lowering business costs and deepening people-to-people ties for a landlocked country. “I believe that great political changes must go hand-in-hand with socio-economic progress. Otherwise, the legitimacy of the political gains made dissipates,” Deuba stated.

He said that only with this change in mindset can Nepal pave the way for massive mobilization of private investment and made three basic commitments for doing all we can to signal signs of reforms that are credible and not reversible; doing his best to relax the most binding constraints in infrastructure and institutional reforms that simplify procedures, deter rent-seeking, and create a level playing field. RSS