BEIJING: Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, has said Nepal welcomes foreign investment and is committed to protecting foreign investment. “We have an investment-friendly environment and which will be further improved,” he stressed giving a keynote speech on Nepal-China Economic and Trade Forum here today.
At the Forum organized jointly by the Embassy of Nepal, and Economic Joint Committee of China Commercial Stock Enterprises in Beijing, he reiterated that Nepal has a stable government. Stable government ensures policy stability and consistency, which is a pre-requisite for boosting confidence of the investors.
The Minister assured that political stability also guarantees peace and stability that is essential for the safety and security of the investors and their investment.
Huge working age population
As the Minister mentioned, with the demographic dividend of working age population in majority, with yet to be tapped huge natural resources, with the increasing domestic market of sizable proportion of middle class, and with the strategic geo-location between the two largest markets of the globe –Nepal is an attractive investment destination.
Decade-long political transition in Nepal has come to an end after the promulgation of the Constitution in 2015, Foreign Minister Gyawali informed, adding that a stable government has been formed and development agenda has been set with the motto of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali.’
Nepal wants to become middle-income country by 2030
Moreover, the Foreign Minister mentioned Nepal aspires to become a middle-income country by 2030 and graduate from LDC status at an early date. At the same time, Nepal aims to realize the SDGs. To achieve these goals, Nepal requires massive investment in infrastructure development and induction of advanced and innovative technology, for which our domestic resources are insufficient. Therefore, support and cooperation of the international community including neighbours was needed, he underscored.
“While setting an example of rapid socio-economic development, China has become one of the major sources of foreign direct investment across the world. As a close neighbour and a friendly country, Nepal wishes to be benefitted from the progress and prosperity of China. Nepal views stable, strong and prosperous China as an opportunity for its development and prosperity,” he said.
He reminded that China is one of the most important development partners of Nepal. It is also one of the largest trading partners, one of the largest sources of FDI as well as tourists to Nepal.
Nepal-China relations deepening
Nepal-China relations have been expanding and deepening in multiple areas including economic, cultural, technical and people-to-people relations. Our relations are trouble-free. “Nepal is firmly committed to One China policy. We have a principled position that we do not allow our soil to be used against China,” he added.
The Foreign Minister made it elaborate that Nepal has introduced major policy changes in order to simplify procedures, maintain clarity and transparency and guarantee the easy repatriation of the profit. A sound regulatory framework was established with the enactment of two key legislations: Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act; and Public-Private Partnership and Investment Act.
The Public-Private Partnership and Investment Act provides one stop service for any foreign investment of over Rs 6 billion or a hydropower project over 200 MW capacity, he shared.
Similarly, statutory provisions pertaining to land acquisition, company registration, environmental assessment and infrastructure development have been relaxed and simplified.
The Foreign Minister also shared the salient features as the attractive incentive package in terms of corporate taxation, import duties, and export facilitation, predictable tax rates and tax holidays, common voice among political parties on the agenda of development and prosperity, among others.
Even the Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Investment Board and the representatives from private sector of Nepal presented about the investment prospects in Nepal.
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