Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said that the government was ready to create appropriate environment to bring in foreign investment.

Addressing a programme marking the 10th anniversary of the Investment Board Nepal here today, Prime Minister Deuba called on foreign investors to invest in Nepal.

Pointing at the need of increasing investment in national priority sectors in order to achieve sustainable development goals determined by the country, PM Deuba, who is also the chairperson of the board, shared that the government was committed to create an investment-friendly environment.

He added that investment-friendly environment should be created though collaboration of government bodies and private sector.

"The country is now focused on economic development after political change," PM Deuba said, adding that the government believes that large and important national projects should be taken forward based on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

He stressed that such projects could be managed through mutual understanding, stating that there would be necessary support and coordination from the government of Nepal for the same.

Recalling that Nepal is in the process of being upgraded from least developed country to developing country, the prime minister said that Nepal is moving ahead by fully adhering to the concept of sustainable development goals.

PM Deuba also said creating a conducive environment for investment was challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stating that several industries were carrying out works through mutual cooperation in spite of the adverse situation, he commended the industries for this.

Finance Minister Janardan Sharma opined that an environment conducive for investment has been created in Nepal and the government was also committed for the same.

Noting that important base has been prepared in the first decade from the investment perspective, he stressed investment would be required to fulfil the expectations over the next 10 years. He also gave assurances of facilitation in resolving the problems encountered in attracting investment.

"Acts and regulations have been prepared and it is necessary to facilitate their practical implementation. We will pay attention towards that end," he added.

The finance minister also underscored the need of reassuring the investors as they come in through the board's doors. He pointed out the need of identifying the problems through assessment in the context of the expected amount of investment not coming in.

Minister Sharma said great deal of efforts have to be made for synchronising people's aspirations of development with the available means and resources.

The board should give attention to this aspect as well.

He stressed on linking the citizens with the private and government partnership for facilitating the investment.

The finance minister reiterated that the government has encouraged the private sector in bringing in foreign direct investment.

Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, PamphaBhusal said that the government had accorded priority to important projects for the development of Nepal.

"The country has the capacity to generate 42,000 MW of electricity and the existing power production is just 1,383 MW."

Stating that transmission infrastructure was a prime need of the hour for power generation, she said that efforts were underway for the development and expansion of power transmission lines for electricity trade.

Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Board Sushil Bhatta said that the construction works of 900 MW Arun III Hydropower Project were progressing well. "Nepal is an investment-friendly country and several projects being implemented here have the foreign investment."

He insisted that collective efforts were needed to achieve expected results in the related sector as the board alone could not do anything.

Bhatta further said the concept of public-private partnership was promoted for economic development and prosperity of Nepal and stressed the need of escalating size of public-private investment in big projects with mobilisation of private investment.

According to him, the country now offers ample opportunities for investment in energy, communication network, agriculture, tourism, information technology, education and health, construction materials and financial sector.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 9 2021, of The Himalayan Times.