EDITORIAL: Attracting FDI
If efforts were made, a congenial climate would be created for foreign investors in Nepal who would bring in money and technology and create jobs in the country
The two-day Nepal Investment Summit-2017 kicked off in the capital on Thursday in which over 250 investors are participating from India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the USA, Russia and Canada.
The Summit is jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and the Investment Board Nepal in association with the National Planning Commission and the private sector. Such a summit was mooted around twenty five years ago when foreign investment was something unheard of.
This was held by the Ministry of Industry when it succeeded in lobbying for the attraction of foreign investment. This was done by the ministry after doing the homework for it for about a year. But things did not work out as envisaged. After a hiatus of over two decades this summit has been held again.
There is no doubt that we are desperately in need of foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI should be sought by creating an environment that would facilitate such investments and ensure attractive return for the foreign investors.
Foreign investors would be seeking a favourable environment before investing. What they would be looking for is also political stability. For this, peace is a prerequisite for bringing in prosperity.
If efforts were made, a congenial climate would be created for foreign investors in Nepal who would bring in money and technology and create jobs in the country.
Nepal lacks financial and technical resources of its own to carry out various development activities to boost the country’s economy. For this, we cannot do without not only foreign investments but also their expertise and skills that modern technology offers.
For the economy to grow rapidly, investment by the private sector is crucial, because the government alone cannot do it. However, we would be requiring foreign investments in huge quantities too. Meanwhile, the government has approved foreign investments worth Rs. 29.83 bn on the eve of the investment summit.
The government expects that this would send out a positive message to the foreign investors to invest in sectors such as hydropower, cement industry and hotels, among others, for which there are huge prospects of growth.
Commitments should be made by the government and all concerned stakeholders to bring appropriate policies and laws and make the environment suitable for both domestic and foreign investment.
The Summit is expected to help create a suitable environment for foreign investment which can also promote youth employment. The investors could invest in agriculture, tourism and many other lucrative ventures.
Foreign investors would also be encouraged as the investors can take profit from their businesses and industries in the invested currency. With economic liberalization after the restoration of democracy there has been some transformation with the establishment of a liberal political system.
However, Nepal is still far behind in reaching various development goals and the political instability is not helping anyway to entice investors both domestic and foreign.
But the government should come up with clear policy and guidelines about the areas in which it wants FDI and be true to them so that a win-win situation could be created for both the country and foreign investors.
The Free Student Union elections were held and almost all results have been out in 250 TU-constituent campuses, but where the campuses were padlocked by one student organization and the other, the elections were not held.
The three student organizations affiliated to the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre, have taken almost all the campuses, whereas their exact overall positions are yet to be officially confirmed.
In the Kathmandu Valley, the FSU polls were held in only seven out of the 60 campuses, mainly because of disputes over the age bar of 28 years set for the candidates for the FSU posts. The age bar has met a long-felt need as it does not permit politicians to do student politics by enrolling again and again.
The main purpose of the FSU is to work for the academic and other welfare of the students.
Therefore, it would be best to allow non-partisan candidates to form the FSUs. It is also unfair that just because of the padlocking of the campus by any student organization, the democratic process is halted.