Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Focus on attracting foreign investment: UK envoy

Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Nepal Andy Sparkes today suggested to focus on attracting foreign investments rather than relying on development aids.
Speaking at a panel discussion, during the launch of revised and updated version of ‘Unleashing Nepal’, a book authored by Sujeev Shakya and published by Penguin, he said that donors must co-ordinate and find common grounds to work on for development aid to be more efficient.
“Nepal has a huge human capital for the service industry like tourism,” he added.
In the programme moderated by executive director of Accountability Lab – a US based organisation that is operating in Nepal and Liberia – Blair Glencorse, Sparkes also provided a perspective on how the diplomatic and development community viewed Nepal.
Organised by Nepal Economic Forum, the panel also discussed on the journey of positive transformation in the economy through the perspective of various people from diverse backgrounds.
The revised book – first published in 2009 had earned the dubious reputation of being a ready reckoner for understanding past, present and future of the Nepali economy – provides an update on unprecedented transformation that the country has gone through over the last five years, said the author of the book Shakya.
Likewise, economist Chandan Sapkota stressed the need to develop infrastructures for energy, transportation and ICT for the overall development of the economy.
He also stressed on the positive macroeconomic indicators like the economy is growing at around four per cent in the last four years. “The growth of the service sector specifically stands at nine per cent,” Sapkota said, adding that it is the service sector that the government needs to focus its energy on. He also pointed out that the fact that Nepal is well on its way to meeting its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Speaking on the occasion, managing director of Unilever Nepal Sirkanth Srinivasmadhavan said that rising consumption rate is drawing lot of potential investors to the country. “Nepal is a market with a lot of potential for investors,” he said, adding that there is an urgency to develop Nepal’s competitive advantage by measures such as leveling the playing field for foreign investors, promoting transparency and safeguarding Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). “Although MNCs in Nepal have been able to do reasonably well.”

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