Friday, April 6, 2018

Nepal won't back track from open market policy, PM assures Indian investors

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who is on a three-day state visit to India, has tried to assure the Indian investors that the incumbent left alliance government will not back track from the open market policy. Calling the Indian business fraternity to invest in Nepal, Oli expressed his commitment to an open market policy, allaying the doubts that the left government would retreat from its open economy. “There is no plan to backtrack from the open market policy," he said, adding that his government is committed to policy stability too.
During an interaction with representatives of Indian business community at the India-Nepal Business Forum meet organised by Ministry of External Affairs of India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), in New Delhi on the first day of his visit today, Oli also committed security to their investment.
"Indian investors are investing in various countries across the world," he said, asking them why not they come to the neighbouring Nepal as it is a lucrative destination for Indian businessmen.
He urged Indian businesses to invest in Nepal and participate in the Himalayan republic's efforts to become a middle income country by the year 2030.
In New Delhi on his first trip abroad after taking over as prime minister in February at the head of a leftist coalition government, Oli listed infrastructure, tourism, power, agriculture and information technology as areas that hold opportunities for foreign investors.
Seeking investments from Indian businesses, he said that Nepal offers investment friendly environment and incentives for industries.
Saying that his government is committed to make transparent and corruption-free administration, the visiting premier said that all the sectors are open for investment.
The prime minister also said that investment in any sector in Nepal is highly profitable. "Investors always look for market," he said, "Look at Nepal's position. For us, market is not a problem but production is a problem. It is lying between two vibrant economic powers with huge population of the world, India and China. That assures you of a promising market of 2.5 billion people."
Oli also urged Indian businesspersons to seize the business opportunity in Nepal, stating that their next door neighbor is a ‘virgin land’ for investment.
He also informed that Nepal enjoys duty free access to European markets. "Nepal offers attractive incentives compared to other countries," Oli said, "We have reduced tariffs, simplified tax regimes. Nepal is planning to establish SEZ in the cities bordering India with incentives for industries, including liberal labour laws."
He also informed them that foreign companies register in Nepal can purchase, own and sell land and there is no discrimination between nationl and foreign investors. "We are discussing the new version of bilateral investment agreement with India," he added.
At the programme, chief executive of Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) Maha Prasad Adhikari apprised Indian entrepreneurs of reforms in policy, laws and initiatives taken by the IBN to attract the foreign investment.
Likewise, the visiting Nepali businessmen, on the occasion, outlined investment sector of Nepal and said that the present time is the best and favourable for investment in terms of returns.
Federation of Nepali Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) president Bhawani Rana, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CII) president Hari Bhakta Sharma and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) president Rajesh Kaji Shrestha backed PM Oli’s claims and spoke on the changed political scenario of Nepal which, after almost two decades of political instability, is now conducive for business and investment.
Seeking investments from Indian businesses they also said that Nepal offered investor-friendly environment and incentives for industries.
Rana, on the occasion, said that Nepal’s private sector was looking forward to share the prosperity from India’s economic development by fully utilizing the close and traditional ties for mutual benefit. "One of the areas we always look forward to from India is investment in Nepal, and promotion of trade synergies,” she said, adding, "As Nepal is marching towards the path of economic development and prosperity, in order to reduce the widening trade gap between us, we seek greater Indian investments in Nepal, to help us in our path toward sustainable economic development."
Highlighting that the Indian companies have started expanding their investment in Nepal, she urged her Indian counterparts to grab the vital opportunity, while Nepal needs a massive investment and the government is also very eager to welcome foreign investment.
On the occasion, Indian entrepreneurs put forth their queries over necessary policy system and environment for foreign investment in Nepal.
Oli has reached New Delhi on Friday morning on invitation of his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, for a three-day state visit.

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