Nepal | May 30, 2020

Government fails to materialise achievements of Nepal Investment Summit

Sujan Dhungana
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Kathmandu, October 24

Though it has been more than seven months since the country received record high foreign investment pledge — worth more than $13.51 billion — in different sectors, the government has not been able to materialise any of these investment pledges so far.

Due to lack of ‘ready projects’ in hand and failure of the government to convince foreign investors to bring in actual investment in the country, Nepal has failed to capitalise on the investment pledges worth billions made by foreigners during the Nepal Investment Summit held in March.

Maha Prasad Adhikari, chief executive officer of Investment Board Nepal (IBN) — a government body responsible for materialising investment commitments — said that foreign investors have been seeking readymade projects to invest in Nepal while the country does not have such mega projects to welcome investors.

“We have either not decided the modality of different projects that we have in hand or have not completed the detailed project report (DPR) of mega projects that have been studied in recent years,” said Adhikari.

Similarly, IBN also said that the frequent change in government and leadership has made it difficult for IBN and different committees formed to materialise the investment pledges to work actively and effectively.

“With the frequent change in leadership, policies and strategies also get changed often making it difficult for IBN to execute investment projects,” added Adhikari.

Moreover, Adhikari informed that IBN has been constantly convincing foreign investors through different embassies and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to invest in Nepal as pledged during the investment summit.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s Himadri Foods (Pran-EFL Group) has started the process to set up its food industry. It had pledged to invest $2.4 billion in the food and construction sectors during Nepal Investment Summit.

Investors from Nepal’s northern neighbour China alone intended to inject $8.3 billion in different sectors of Nepal during the investment summit. Similarly, investors from Bangladesh had pledged to invest $2.4 billion, investors from Japan and the United Kingdom have committed to bring $1 billion investment each, while Sri Lankan and Indian investors had pledged to bring in $500 million and $317 million investment in the country, respectively.

IBN officials also said that a majority of foreign investors who had expressed their interest to invest in different sectors of Nepal are not following up regarding their investment with the government.

 


A version of this article appears in print on October 25, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


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