Nepal | June 04, 2020

Summit begins today with high hopes

Sujan Dhungana
Share Now:
Nepal Investment Summit,

A banner of upcoming Nepal Investment Summit pictured at Tripureshor, in Kathmandu, on Monday, March 25, 2019. Photo: Sandeep Sen/THT

Kathmandu, March 28

The two-day Nepal Investment Summit 2019, which is being organised with the objective of promoting Nepal as a promising investment destination, is set to kick off tomorrow, creating a buzz across the country, especially among the business community.

Along with the end of the political transition that not only impeded business growth, but also made the economy sluggish, Nepal today has embarked on a new journey of rapid economic development and it is necessary for the country to enhance its standing as a promising and comparatively better investment destination among investors across the world.

Thus, stakeholders — government and private sector — believe that the investment summit is timely and is a crucial platform to persuade the world to do business in Nepal.

Though the country has introduced and amended certain policies, which have made the country a more favourable investment destination than in the past, a few aspects, including policy implementation and administrative facilitation, still lack competitiveness.

“It is commendable that the government has introduced a number of business-friendly policies, but the private sector will like to see proper implementation of all the policies and their provisions to foster business growth,” said Shekhar Golchha, senior vice-president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry. “What
really matters is that the government needs to demonstrate the willingness to support business and investment, which the present government has displayed.”

In fact, the government has introduced a number of business-related laws targeting this summit, especially the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act, Public Private Partnership and Investment Act and Special Economic Zone Act (First Amendment). Though the government has been criticised for introducing these policies in a hurry without enough homework and discussion with stakeholders, all these legislations are crucial for investment growth. Policies are dynamic documents and can be rectified.

Along with endorsement of key policies related to business, improved labour relations in the industrial sector are also vital to lure foreign investors. Along with the enforcement of new basic monthly wages for workers and a labour friendly law, both industrial workers and industries have said that labour relations have improved considerably along with the productivity of industries.

Frequent power cuts, which remained one of the major setbacks for industrial growth have also been addressed.

Despite all this, the production cost in Nepal is one of the highest in the region and the government should focus on that, according to Hari Bhakta Sharma, president of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries. “Availability of policies is crucial for investment. However, equally important is to bring down the cost of doing business in a bid to make our production competitive,” he said.

Meanwhile, experts say that Nepal should focus on building a comparatively advantageous market over the peer markets in the region in a bid to attract foreign investment. “At the end, what investors look for is comparative advantage of investing in Nepal,” said Bishwo Poudel, an economist.

At a glance

  • Third summit of its type after the first in 1992 and second in 2017
  • Theme: To promote Nepal as a promising destination for investment
  • Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli scheduled to inaugurate the event
  • Over 600 foreign delegates (265 from China, 120 from India) from 40 countries participating
  • 77 viable projects worth $31.93 billion (50 public and 27 private projects) being showcased

A version of this article appears in print on March 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Traders defy lockdown as patience runs thin in Nepal

Durbar Marg shops to open from today Other traders, businesses also defiant KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 With no end in sight to the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 24 that has effectively halted all economic activities for the past two-and-a-half months, traders, firms and industries have be Read More...

Mahakali Hospital isolation ward filled with COVID-19 patients

KANCHANPUR: At least fifteen COVID-19 patients have been admitted to the isolation ward of Mahakali Hospital in Bhimdattanagar Municipality, Kanchanpur district. The isolation ward has a capacity of 20 beds. The hospital has started treatment of COVID-19 since Tuesday. Seven persons — reside Read More...

The office of the prime minister and council of ministers, OPMCM

Evacuation of Nepalis likely to begin Friday

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 After the plan to evacuate stranded Nepali citizens from several countries was approved by the Cabinet a few days ago, the government is gearing up to bring them home on priority basis from Friday. Narayan Bidari, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of M Read More...

Home isolation for asymptomatic, mild Covid cases

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 The Ministry of Health and Population has directed hospitals to send home patients infected with the novel coronavirus who show mild or no symptom of the disease so that hospitals can treat severe cases of COVID-19. Hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have also been told to Read More...

Nepal govt may declare state of public health emergency as coronavirus cases rise steadily

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population is mulling over proposing to the Council of Ministers to declare state of public health emergency in the country following a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Section 48 (2) of the Public Health Service Act states that if public Read More...

COVID-19 curve flattening in Narainapur

NEPALGUNJ, JUNE 3 The COVID-19 spread seems to have come under control in Narainapur Rural Municipality, Banke, which had emerged as a coronavirus hotspot after a number of people tested positive for the virus here earlier. According to the district’s corona focal person Naresh Shrestha, it Read More...

Frontline workers to get hazard allowance

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 The Government of Nepal has published ‘Hazard Allowance Management Order for Human Resources Involved in the Treatment of COVID-19 Infection’ in Nepal Gazette for its implementation. The order aims to provide hazard allowance to the human resources involved in the identif Read More...

Kathmandu Medical College sealed

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital in Sinamangal has been shut for an indefinite period after two of its health workers contracted COVID-19. The hospital’s Medical Director Dr Mukunda Raj Joshi issuing a notice today, informed that the hospital would be closed for Read More...