Nepal | August 12, 2020

Pvt sector players discuss trade enhancement

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, March 22

Private sector players of Nepal and China, today, discussed ways of enhancing trade and business relations between the two countries.

Private sector players of prime minister-led delegation in China held an intensive discussion with the Chinese businesspeople on expanding bilateral economic ties during the meeting organised by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), said Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).

The meeting was accompanied by the prime minister, delegation members, ambassadors of both the countries, officials from CCPIT and Chinese businesspeople.

During his address, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli sought to woo Chinese investment and technology in Nepal. Citing the recently completed constitution writing process, PM Oli said that Nepal has now embarked on the new path of unleashing economic potentials to advance towards economic development and prosperity. “The Constitution of Nepal itself lays the policy foundation of encouraging foreign capital and technological investment in areas of import substitution and export promotion.”

He highlighted that China’s economic miracle could be an inspiration for Nepal’s economic development. “When the global economy itself is so well integrated with the Chinese economy, how can we remain aloof or afford to be de-linked from these opportunities? We would surely like to reap the benefit by integrating our economy in the most beneficial way,” PM Oil said.

As there is huge outward foreign direct investment (FDI) across the world, the PM requested the Chinese investors to come to Nepal and assured them that the country would provide them national treatment. He said that Nepal also wants to share a pie of the outward Chinese FDI. Outward FDI from China stood at over
$114 billion in 2014. “Though the competition for FDI attraction is fierce among the developing countries, we are destined to be the natural partners in such venture for being the immediate neighbour,” he said.

In the context of growing outbound travellers from China, the PM also urged for active collaboration between the tourism entrepreneurs of both countries to develop exclusive brand for Chinese tourists to
attract them to Nepal.

Also speaking at the meeting, Pashupati Murarka, president of FNCCI, urged Chinese investors to tap the South Asian market through production of goods and services in Nepal. In this regard, Nepali businesspeople are always ready to welcome Chinese investors to the country in various sectors and are also interested to conduct business in joint venture.

“There is a tremendous potential for investment in Nepal to cater to the two most populous nations, China and India with more than 2.5 billion population, in addition to the market of South Asia,” said Murarka.

He also informed that the FNCCI has been promoting investment in energy (including hydropower), tourism, mining and minerals, agriculture, infrastructure, information and communication technology (ICT), health and education. With Chinese investment and harnessing modern technology, Nepal can also be a part of the global value chain, as per Murarka.

Nepal’s trade deficit with northern neighbour has been gradually increasing each year. During the first seven months of this fiscal, the country’s import from China stood at Rs 55.30 billion against the total export of Rs 661.83 million.

Meanwhile, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) hosted a reception for the Chinese businesspeople and members of the PM-led delegation, including private sector players. The programme was co-hosted by the Hongshi Cement of China, which has joint venture investment with Shivam Cement of Nepal. CNI has conveyed the message to the Chinese investors regarding improving investment climate in Nepal after the promulgation of the new constitution, according to a statement issued by CNI.

A version of this article appears in print on March 23, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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