KATHMANDU, Jan 24: Nepal marked its first participation in the World Economic Forum on Tuesday. Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s participation in the 49th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland has been regarded as highly significant in terms of promoting foreign direct investment in the country. How will Nepal benefit from this participation? How is Oli government taking the agenda of economic development?
Reporters Club Nepal President Rishi Dhamala caught up with former Governor Deependra Bahadur Chhetri at a Nepali Radio Network program Nepali Bahas on Thursday in order to discuss focusing on these issues.
How is Prime Minister Oli’s participation in the World Economic Forum beneficial for Nepal?
Nepal has finally gained political stability after a long period. The country has two-third government. Therefore, the country’s only plan economic development and prosperity. This forum is a platform for a landlocked country like Nepal to spread the message to the world that Nepal is ready and wants economic development. It will help invite foreign investment in the country.
Although Nepal has stable government with two-third majority, development is economic aspect is not as expected. Why?
Although Nepal government estimated the economic growth at 8 percent, World Band and International Monetary Fund have calculated the growth rate at 5.5 percent.
The government has been unable to increase the capital expenditure in the current fiscal year. What can be assumed as our achievement?
It is true that our capital expenditure at the mid-fiscal year is only 17 percent. (The capital expenditures in fiscals 2015/16 and 2016/17 reached 59 percent and 66 percent respectively of the targeted amounts.) However, Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada has said that failing to increase the capital expenditure in the country like Nepal will not affect the entire economy. But I do not agree with him.
Being unable to increase the capital expenditure proves that we are not even capable of investments domestically.
Does it mean Nepal cannot gain economic development without foreign investment?
We need foreign investment—both bilateral and multilateral. The prime minister is making efforts for promoting foreign investment in the country from the World Economic Forum.
We will create investment friendly environment in the country. PM Oli is trying to invite investment saying that stability has changed Nepal as one of the best destination for investment.