The three-day Nepal Economic Summit 2014 concluded here today with a 19-point declaration, which pledges to create 50,000 jobs in four different large scale projects each in agriculture, energy and tourism sectors by 2015.
The declaration also envisages a high-level mechanism – that includes government officials and private sector representatives – which will identify regulatory hassles and recommend to ease doing business in the country. "It will help country’s position in the World Bank’s Doing Business Index go up by 10 notches by 2016," read the declaration that is proposed to be a basis for 'minimum common economic agenda'.
The government and private sector jointly come up with the declaration after three days of deliberations and it will be owned by the political parties too, president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Suraj Vaidya said, addressing the closing ceremony of the summit, here today.
Joint secretary and the coordinator of the Foreign Aid Coordination and Cooperation Division under the Finance Ministry Madhu Kumar Marashini, reading the declaration said that the government will start the second phase of economic reform. "The government will also come with a strategy paper to develop three key sectors – energy, agriculture and tourism – and identify some 10 sectors for investment by 2016," he said, adding that the government will identify and work with domestic and foreign investors to create at least 50,000 additional jobs by the private sector in agriculture, energy and tourism areas of Nepal by 2015.
It has also emphasised the need to create an economic system that enables the private sector to grow and create wealth.
Organised jointly by the government and FNCCI, the three-day summit's declaration also focused on increasing tourist earning too. "Average tourist spending stands at $36 but it will be increased to $60 per day," it said, adding that the construction of infrastructure like regional international airport in Lumbini, Pokhara and Nijgadh will be expedited, apart from upgradation of Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA).
On the occasion, chief secretary Leela Mani Poudyal directed the state authorities to start implementing agendas highlighted in the declaration that has called for formulation of development strategies for the three sectors within the next six months.
Likewise, the declaration has also stressed on the need to review the existing land management systems and bring about regulatory framework that allows for contract farming and effective utilisation of land to give a boost to the agriculture sector.It also envisages an idea of establishing an independent power trading company – that will provide a platform for trading energy between individual consumers and suppliers – to encourage innovation in energy supply and increase private sector participation in this sector.