Thursday, January 17, 2019

Government gears up for second Investment Summit

The government has decided to hold Investment Summit in the last week of March in a bid to attract foreign investment in the country.
A cabinet meeting has decided to hold the ‘Investment Summit-2019’ on March 29-30, minister for Communications and Information Technology and government spokesperson Gokul Prasad Banskota said, speaking at a press conference today.
The summit will be totally different from the first one, he said, adding that the Investment Summit this time is being organised in a changed political context in Nepal. "We will urge foreign countries and development partners to invest in Nepal to help realise the dream of ‘Prosperous Nepal: Happy Nepali’."
The then government – in association with Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) – had organised first Invetsment Summit before election during Sher Bahadur Deuba government. The foreign participants had then signed Rs 140 billion worth Letter of Intent (LoI). Out of which, some investors have acquired survey licence of hydropower projects worth Rs 40 billion, and other investors' which had shown interest in the first investment summit are also in contact with the Investment Board for investment.
Meanwhile, the Investment Board has also briefed Nepal-based foreign missions yesterday The representatives of Nepal-based foreign missions and development partners were invited to the Finance Ministry to brief them on the government's preparations on the summit. Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada asked the representatives to propagate the information about investment summit to their respective governments and business communities.
The representatives from China, India, USA, Finland, along with international agencies including World Bank, Asia Development Bank, United Nations, however, asked the government to reform the laws that are the biding constraints for the investment in Nepal.
The representatives expressing their willingness to make the Nepal Investment Summit successful and bring adequate fund to Nepal, pointed out reforms needed in Nepal to attract the foreign investors. They also highlighted the problems prevalent in acquiring land and much-needed reforms in relevant legal process to attract foreign investors.
Responding to them, Dr Khatiwada committed to reform Nepal’s investment-related laws according to the international standard. He also said that Nepal now has adequate human resources pooled through enhanced quality education and skilled migrant labours who returned from foreign employment.
The government has however failed to please the domestic investors by not lending ears to them, which has created some confusion among the private sector. The private sector is terrorised by the government's activities, they said, adding that the key ministers – finance minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada doesnot want to listen and industry minister Matrika Yadav only threatens the private sector – are the key obstacles in creating investment-friendly environment in the country.

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