Nepal is an attractive destination for investment, according to the minister without portfolio Dr Ram Sharan Mahat.
The country offers huge potential for agriculture, tourism and hydropower development, with second tier economic reforms on cards to make economy vibrant, dynamic and stronger, he said, inaugurating the three-day Nepal Economic Summit 2014 here today.
Though, the country has lost a decade due to armed-conflict and again six years due to political transition, it is high time the country prioritise economy and bring it in the forefront.
The economic reform agenda of 1990s was introduced in the stewardship of Nepali Congress, he said, reminding that the economic growth rate has also escalated due to reforms. But the country lost track of reform and economic agenda both pulling the economic growth rate to around three to four per cent.
Private sector plays key role in economic reform, said the former finance minister.
The country has planned to graduate from the current status of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to developing countries by 2022. "It needs six per cent economic growth every year," he said, adding that some $60 billion is needed every year to fuel growth. "It is not possible from the domestic investment alone and foreign investment is key."
Reminding that Nepali Congress commitment of not calling bandh – strikes – that would help create investment-friendly environment, the Nepali Congress stalwart said that other parties have also followed his party and promised not to call for band.
Addressing the summit jointly organised by Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the government, FNCCI president Suraj Vaidya hoped that the new government would bring back the economy agenda back on track.
Asking for appointing right ministers in the finance, industry, energy, commerce and supplies, and agriculture ministries, he also called to bring the pending 22 laws that could boost the private sector's confidence and create business-friendly environment in the country.
“Because of the depressing condition in the country, around 1,300 people are going abroad for employment purpose every day," he said, urging the government to focus on development agendas and employment creation. "Only more investment could ensure more employment in the country," he added.
Likewise, delivering key-not speech, president-designate of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Ajay S Shriram shared Indian experience of economic reforms.The three-day conference will witness discussions on reforms for investment-friendly environment, what attracts investors, turning agriculture from subsistence to commercial venture, energy, and making Nepal one of the best tourist destinations.
Finance secretary Shanta Raj Subedi, welcoming the delegates reiterated government's commitment in creating investment-friendly environment that is key to bring more investment in the country.