PM Oli in Vietnam

By special correspondent Dipendra Adhikari

HANOI, May 10: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said Nepal is a virgin land for investors. Investment anywhere and everywhere is full of potentials with an assured rate of return.

Addressing the Vietnam-Nepal Business Forum on Friday, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli reminded the Vietnamese investors that Nepal’s advantage lies in our rich natural resources, an abundance of labor forces and the location between two largest markets. Investment in Nepal will open avenues to the world’s two largest markets; India and China.

The PM further made elaborate that there are opportunities for investment in multiple sectors –hydropower, agriculture, mineral resources, medicinal herbs, hospitality industry and financial markets in Nepal.

As an LDC, Nepal has preferential access to some of the international markets.

According to him, labor cost is low and competitive. The country enjoys a demographic dividend, with 57 percent of the working-age population. Every year over 500 thousand youths enter into the job market.

Similarly, a large number of English speaking and digitally connected youths are Nepal’s important asset. This makes ICT sector another area for profitable investment.

Moreover, PM Oli shared that Nepal successfully organized the Investment Summit recently. The Summit saw participation from over 40 countries including Viet Nam. During the Summit, investors pledged to finance 18 mega projects. Various other features and facilities relating to investment in Nepal were shared by the PM.

“We have created an investment-friendly environment through the enactment of necessary laws and announcement of a series of policy measures. Protection of foreign investment is guaranteed by law. The new Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act ensure the national treatment to foreign investment. We have adopted liberal investment and business policies; simplified the procedures; ensured one-stop service to open and close business ventures. We have allowed foreign investment in almost all sectors. The negative list is kept at a minimum,” mentioned PM Oli in the address.

The private sector as he said was taken on board as an indispensable partner for economic development. Public-Private Partnership and Investment Act had paved the way for synergetic engagement of both sides for investment.

“Nepal has flexible labor policy. A universal, contribution-based social security system is being implemented. It has ended the possibility of labor strikes and frequent industrial disputes. We have introduced low tax regimes and created a conducive fiscal environment. Our tax regime is transparent, predictable and investor-friendly,” he underscored, adding that simplified and liberal visa rules apply to the investors and their dependents.

Other features he shared were simplified laws and rules pertaining to land acquisition, company registration, environment assessment and infrastructure development, attempts on agricultural modernization, digitization and Youth Employment programs, dedicated organization as Nepal Investment Board, Department of Industry and Industrial Promotion Board, accessible government machinery and robust institutional setup, aims to increase participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs).

According to him, the success of competitive and economic development lies in innovation and knowledge. Nepal aspires to innovate at the level of small and medium-sized enterprises as well.

PM Oli said at the Forum that Nepal has brought a clear message –the government and the private sector in Nepal are determined in their journey to prosperity. According to him, Nepal and Viet Nam have been enjoying excellent friendship bolstered by social, cultural and religious affinity.

He lauded the economic transformation of Viet Nam after the introduction of Doi-Moi reforms has been remarkable.

“Viet Nam’s story of transformation from a war-torn agrarian economy to a vibrant middle-income country is truly inspiring to all of us. It has shined as one of the bright stars of emerging economies,” PM Oli said, adding that Viet Nam has not only grown but has also increased its welfare gains. Your growth process has been an inclusive one and therefore a model for achieving sustainable development.

Economic transformation Nepal’s ambition PM Oli informed the Vietnamese people that Nepal has emerged as the Federal Republic after the fall of the monarchy. It passed through a difficult insurgency and decade long political transition. With the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015, the peace process has come to a logical end. Nepal’s ambition is of economic transformation – of equally tremendous scale.

“The elections held in 2017, gave a strong mandate to my party and now we have a stable government in Nepal. Two largest communist/left parties have unified as one. The government enjoys over two-thirds majority in the Parliament”, the PM shared.

The PM reminded that the Government has a motto of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”. Nepal has a vision of graduating from the LDCs at an early date, to become a middle-income country and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The government is currently working on the concept paper for Nepal’s development called “Vision 2100”. He pointed out the needed that realization of this dream requires huge investments –in infrastructures, in human resources, in the financial sector.

As the PM said Nepal has now emerged as a confident nation –which is aware of its capabilities and potentials; which is aware of its resources and prospects. Nepalis are determined to build a prosperous nation –with resolute domestic efforts coupled with international cooperation.

MOU ON INVESTMENT TO BOOST ECONOMIC COOPERATION

The signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Nepal and Viet Nam on Framework Agreement on Promotion of Trade and Investment will boost economic cooperation between the two countries, mentioned PM Oli in the address, adding that the MoU would augment the activities on the business community of both countries including Chambers.

“Our efforts for regional and global connectivity have further enhanced and intensified which will reduce the time and costs of access to markets. Investment in Nepal will open up avenues to the world’s two largest markets. Simplified transit system with India is in place. An Agreement on Transit Transport and its Protocol with China have enhanced access to the sea. The multi-modal transit transport system has reduced the delivery of goods reducing transit transport costs,” he described.

As the PM shared, Nepal is motivated by digital connectivity which will compensate geographical landlockedness. Vast untapped resources The vast untapped resources and virgin fields for investment makes Nepal an attractive business destination. The market-friendly incentives, business-friendly liberal policy, and robust institutional mechanism make Nepal a profitable business destination. Peace, security and rule of law make Nepal a safe business destination, the PM underscored.

“I invite the investors, entrepreneurs and businesspersons from Vietnam to make the best use of the opportunity available in Nepal,” he appealed.

He also encouraged investors to make the optimum use of opportunities. Frequent exchange of business delegations can be helpful to explore the opportunities. Partnership for capacity building can augment our economic ties. Joint ventures and partnerships can bolster the business, he suggested. RSS

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