- We have adopted liberal investment and business policies, simplified investment procedures and ensured one stop service to open and close business ventures. We have allowed foreign investment in almost all sectors. Negative list is kept at minimum
- Investment in Nepal will open avenues to the world’s two largest markets — India and China
Hanoi, May 10
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said Nepal is a virgin land for investors and it has immense potential for investors with assured returns.
Addressing Vietnam-Nepal Business Forum here today, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reminded Vietnamese investors that Nepal’s advantage was its rich natural resources, abundant labour force and its location between the two largest markets.
“Investment in Nepal will open avenues to the world’s two largest markets — India and China,” he added.
The PM further explained that there were opportunities for investment in multiple sectors such as hydropower, agriculture, mineral resources, medicinal herbs, hospitality industry and financial markets in Nepal.
As a least developed country, Nepal has preferential access to some of the international markets.
According to PM Oli, labour cost in Nepal is low and competitive. The country has a robust labour force with 57 per cent of working-age population.
Every year over 500,000 youths enter job markets. Large number of English speaking and digitally connected youths are Nepal’s promising asset. This makes ICT sector another area for profitable investment.
Moreover, PM Oli shared that Nepal successfully organised an investment summit recently. The summit saw participation from over 40 countries, including Vietnam. During the summit, investors had pledged to finance 18 mega projects.
Addressing the forum, various other features and facilities relating to investment in Nepal were shared by the PM. “We have created an investment-friendly environment through the enactment of necessary laws and announcement of a series of policy measures. Protection of foreign investment is guaranteed by the law.
The new Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act ensures national treatment to foreign investment,” said PM Oli, adding, “ We have adopted liberal investment and business policies, simplified investment procedures and ensured one stop service to open and close business ventures. We have allowed foreign investment in almost all sectors. Negative list is kept at minimum,” mentioned PM Oli in his address.
The PM also informed that the private sector was taken on board as an indispensable partner for economic development.
“Nepal has flexible labour policy. A universal, contribution-based social security system is being implemented.
It has ended the possibility of labour strikes and frequent industrial disputes. We have introduced low tax regimes and created conducive fiscal environment.
Our tax regime is transparent, predictable and investor friendly,” he underscored, adding that simplified and liberal visa rules had been applied to the investors and their dependents.
Other features he shared were simplified laws and rules pertaining to land acquisition, company registration, environment assessment and infrastructure development. Nepal government has made attempts on agricultural modernisation, digitisation and youth employment programmes.
The country has organisations such as Nepal Investment Board, Department of Industry and Industrial Promotion Board for creating investment friendly environment.
PM Oli also said that Nepal had brought a clear message that the government and the private sector in Nepal were determined to a committed journey to prosperity.
Lauding the excellent friendship bolstered by social, cultural and religious affinity between Vietnam and Nepal, he said the economic transformation of Vietnam after the introduction of Doi-Moi reforms had been remarkable.
“Vietnam’s story of transformation from a war-torn agrarian economy to a vibrant middle-income country is truly inspiring for all of us,” PM Oli said.
Meanwhile, PM Oli took the opportunity to inform the Vietnamese that Nepal had emerged as a Federal Republic after the fall of monarchy. It passed through a difficult insurgency and a decade long political transition.
“With the promulgation of new constitution in 2015, the peace process has come to a logical end. The elections held in 2017, gave a strong mandate to my party and now we have a stable government in Nepal. Two largest communist parties have unified as one. The government commands two-thirds majority in the Parliament,” the PM shared.
The PM also reminded that the government had a motto of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali.’ Nepal has a vision of graduating from a LDC to become a middle-income country and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The government is currently working on the concept paper for Nepal’s development — Vision 2100.
He also pointed out the need for huge investments to realise his dream.The PM further said Nepal had now emerged as a confident nation — which was aware of its capabilities and potentials.
The PM also said memorandum of understanding signed between Nepal and Vietnam on Framework Agreement on Promotion of Trade and Investment would boost economic cooperation between the two countries and augment the activities of business communities of both the countries.
“Our efforts for regional and global connectivity have been further enhanced and intensified, which will reduce time and costs to market products. Simplified transit system with India is in place. An agreement on transit transport and its Protocol with China have enhanced Nepal’s access to the sea.
“I invite investors, entrepreneurs and businessmen from Vietnam to make best use of the opportunities available in Nepal,” he appealed.
He also encouraged the investors to make the optimum use of opportunities.
“Frequent exchange of business delegations can be helpful to explore new opportunities. Partnership for capacity building can augment our economic ties. Joint ventures and partnerships can bolster the business,” he suggested.
A version of this article appears in print on May 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.