Dipendra Adhikari, Phnom Penh (Cambodia): Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said Nepal currently ensures policy stability, strong and sound regulatory framework, simplification of processes and procedures, market availability and access, lucrative incentives to create conducive atmosphere investment.
Underlining some points for consideration of the government and private sector of Cambodia while addressing the Nepal-Cambodia Business Forum in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, Prime Minister Oli, who is presently here on an official visit at the invitation of his Cambodian counterpart, shared that with the formation of strong government with over two-thirds majority in the parliament, political stability has been achieved, thereby ensuring stability and consistency in policy.
Nepal has also undertaken substantial reforms to make Nepal an attractive destination for investment. Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act has been thoroughly revised to make it consistent with the requirements of the changed context with substantial protection measures for investors, he argued.
Enactment of PPP and Investment Act for synergetic partnership
Similarly, the Prime Minister informed the audience that Nepal enacted Public-Private Partnership and Investment Act to forge synergetic partnership with private sector to mobilize much needed investment in crucial sectors, including infrastructure development. Simplified and streamlined procedures were put in place to facilitate the investors, he said, adding that Nepal is situated between the two largest economies of the world, India and China. Nepal enjoys preferential market access in both countries.
“We have given added emphasis to build strong connectivity network with both of our neighbors and serious works are underway in respect of constructing railways, roadways and inland waterways. Enhanced cross-border connectivity will greatly facilitate trade, tourism and investment. Our domestic market is also expanding with increased purchasing power of the people. In addition, Nepal is an active member of two regional organizations, SAARC and BIMSTEC where LDCs like Nepal has certain advantages in terms of regional market access. Beyond this, Nepal, by virtue of its status as an LDC, enjoys preferential access in EU and other developed countries,” the Prime Minister mentioned in the address.
According to him, Nepal also aims to increase participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs) which will bring capital and new technologies. Moreover, the Prime Minister made it clear before business community that there is no dearth of natural and human resources in Nepal- 57 percent of working age population is a huge demographic dividend; natural resources and cultural treasures aplenty.
Nepal virgin land for investors
He reiterated that for investors, Nepal is a virgin land. Investment anywhere and everywhere is full of potentials with assured rate of return. There are opportunities for investment in other sectors such as agriculture, mineral resources, medicinal herbs, hospitality industry and financial markets, he added.
Prime Minister Oli also reminded that there were large number of English speaking and digitally connected youths; ICT sector another area for profitable investment; labour cost is low and competitive.
The Prime Minister shared that Nepal successfully organised the Investment Summit. The Summit saw participation from over 40 countries where the investors have pledged to finance 18 mega projects. “We invite you to invest in the development of Industrial Park and in garment processing zone in the Special Economic Zone. Government is providing supporting building roads and transmission line connectivity. We provide tax rebate for the industries established within SEZ and under developed regions,” he urged.
The Prime Minister also shared the information about religious tourism giving reference of Lumbini- the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautam Shakya Muni and the fountain of Buddhism, which Cambodian could visit as they are Buddhist.
Govt to consult on hosting International Day of Vesak in Lumbini
The Government of Nepal, as the Prime Minister said, would soon start consultation with relevant authorities to host International Day of Vesak in Lumbini. “I request Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen to support our bid and also encourage citizens of this country to visit Nepal,” he said, thanking Cambodian Prime Minister for accepting invitation to visit Nepal and go to Lumbini.
He informed the Cambodian people that Nepal stands at a historical juncture, and has resolved political issues. Presently, Nepal is single-mindedly focused on socio-economic transformation.
Int’l standing relies on economic development
Moreover, the Prime Minister said, at present, country’s international standing depends on economic development and prosperity. Economic relations increasingly dominate the substance of inter-state engagements.
“Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” is our national aspiration, the Prime Minister shared adding that a long-term development vision (a 25-year vision) was being crafted to meet this aspiration. Nepal has a target of graduating from LDC status at an early date, of becoming a middle-income country and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Meeting these targets, as the Prime Minister argued, would require huge investments –in infrastructures, in human resources and in financial sector. Nepal’s domestic resources alone are not sufficient to meet these targets.
Nepal needs support, cooperation
Nepal, therefore, needs support, cooperation and solidarity of the friendly countries like Cambodia. “It is with this objective in mind that I have come to this friendly country. We want to advance the process of economic engagement on both tracks-government-to-government and business-to-business,” Prime Minister Oli reiterated.
He made a special appeal to the business community of both countries to jointly explore business opportunities in Nepal. Nepal welcomes foreign investment to complement its development efforts.
Cambodia’s development rapid
“I am convinced that Nepal can learn a lot from Cambodia’s rapid economic development and its continuous journey to prosperity. This is more so in the context of the history of conflict in our countries and our resilience and determination to rebuild our nations,” Prime Minister Oli mentioned.
According to him, Cambodia has transformed a lot since his last visit five years ago under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Success does not come automatically. It requires a clear vision, strong commitment, determined efforts and right mix of policies, institutions and resources, he added. RSS
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