‘Nepal: most suitable country for foreign investors’, DPM Shrestha

DPM Shrestha addressing the Pre-Investment Summit organized by the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing on Tuesday,

Kathmandu, 27 March: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha has said once formidable Himalaya range, perceived as a barrier, will be transformed into a bridge of progress heralding a new era of cooperation between Nepal and China.

Speaking at the Pre-Investment Summit organized by the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing on Tuesday, Shrestha said implementation of the Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement and its Protocol was an advantage for the Chinese investors for a third country export via Chinese ports.

He said Nepal-China relationship was upgraded to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and cooperation during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2019. “Noteworthy progress has been made since then to consolidate these ties.”

DPM Shrestha said Nepal has focused on reforming policies, institutions, and procedures in pursuit of establishing a business-friendly environment and attracting foreign investment by taking key decisions, including legal, institutional, and procedural reforms at the onset of the Summit.

Terming Nepal as an extremely alluring investment destination for Chinese business leaders, he said the government has prioritized hydroelectricity, tourism, infrastructure, ICT, and manufacturing industries for investment.

Reiterating that Nepal attaches top priority to its relations with China, he called for an enhanced economic partnership for mutual benefits adding that the two nations’ close cultural affinity and geographical proximity provide room for win-win cooperation.

“A forward-looking foreign investment policy has been implemented. Several investment-related legislative instruments have been enacted,” according to DPM Shrestha. “We are fully dedicated to implementing additional policy, regulatory, and procedural reforms. Our next cycle of reforms includes Intellectual Property Rights, among others,” he shared.

Saying that Nepal’s domestic resources alone are not sufficient to achieve the overarching goals, he added Nepal requires substantial investment, modern technology, and critical infrastructure to bridge the resource gaps. “Nepal treasures unique investment opportunities. It is the most suitable country for foreign investors due to its proximity to the world’s largest markets. China has been Nepal’s important trading partner,” he viewed.

On the occasion, DPM Shrestha also elaborated about the “One Stop Service Center” established at the Department of Industries to simplify procedures. Inviting the Chinese tourists in Nepal, he said free visas are issued to Chinese visitors in Nepal and Nepal boasts a hassle-free visa procedure.

On the occasion, Shrestha mentioned that business communities are key actors in the socio-economic transformation and such interactions can play an instrumental role in attracting ideas, innovation, and investment.

He observed that China is one of the biggest examples of nations that has achieved tremendous success economically, technologically, and socially and has elevated millions of people out of poverty in a short span of time.

The DPM added that China has been Nepal’s important trading partner and the largest provider of foreign direct investment. He also described that Nepal has the lowest corporate tax rate in the region. “Special incentives are extended to organizations that operate roads, bridges, railways, hydropower, transmission lines, and other infrastructure on a “Build Own Operate and Transfer” model. Policies regarding the repatriation of capital and income are relaxed.”

In the programme, Investment Board’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sushil Bhatta mentioned that there was a tremendous potential for investment in Nepal and thus urged the Chinese investors to consider for investment in infrastructures, agriculture, tourism and services among others.

Stating that investment-friendly climate was enabled in Nepal, Bhatta expressed that they were ready to welcome Chinese investors in Nepal.

Similarly, Nepali Ambassador to China Bishnu Pukar Shrestha echoed with Bhatta and assured that favorable investment environment was enabled in Nepal. He also urged the Chinese investors to confidently invest in Nepal.

Present in the programme were Chinese investors besides members of the visiting Nepali delegation. The Pre-Investment Summit organized by the Embassy of Nepal was attended by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy of Nepal in Beijing, Deputy Secretary General of China Chamber of International Commerce Xu Liang, Deputy General Manager China International Water and Electric Corporation Chen Mili and business persons in China.

The summit was organized on the Theme ‘Emerging Nepal: Investment Potentials in Nepal’ in collaboration with the China Chamber of International Commerce and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

The Summit was organized to lure more Chinese investors in Nepal in view of the Investment Summit to be held in Kathmandu next month and to foster collaboration between two countries and peoples for shared prosperity.