Nepal Unveils Investment Potential at 2024 Summit, Seeks Global Collaboration

84

Kathmandu, April 28: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said Nepal is a suitable destination for investment, calling upon investors from across the globe to seize the opportunity and benefit from this.

The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the Nepal Investment Summit 2024 here today.

On the occasion, the PM asserted that there are immense opportunities for investment in Nepal and it is a potential country for investment from legal, geographical and strategic perspectives as well.

Stating that Nepal is fully committed to a liberal economic policy, he reassured that an investment-friendly environment has been created in the country. The Prime Minister said Nepal is continuously moving ahead towards creating a friendly environment for investors, industrialists, entrepreneurs and innovators. In this connection, he added, eight various laws related to business and investment have been reformed.

Nepali Congress President and former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has said Nepal’s investment regime is now liberal in terms of sectors open for foreign investment, tax policies and repatriation of earnings.

In his remarks at an inauguration of the Nepal Investment Summit 2024 here today, the leader said almost all sectors are open for foreign investment in Nepal. “Agriculture, tourism, infrastructure development, mines and minerals, manufacturing, tourism, hydropower and IT are some of the key sectors where domestic and foreign investment will have a transformative impact.”

According to him, foreign investment is protected by domestic law and various international instruments to which Nepal country is a party. The leader of the main opposition said, “I have come to know that the Government has expressed its willingness to conclude bilateral investment protection agreement with various countries to promote Nepal as an attractive destination for investment.”

Finance Minister Barshaman Pun has asserted that Nepal is an attractive destination for international investment.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Third Investment Summit here today, he highlighted the key objectives of the Summit.
According to the Finance Minister, the key objectives of the Summit are: To project Nepal as an emerging destination for private sector investment; to highlight recent reforms in enhancing the investment climate and ensuring regulatory frameworks that support foreign as well as domestic investment, to showcase a wide range of projects across different sectors, including investment-ready projects; to facilitate productive negotiations and come up with a number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between investors and stakeholders, advancing project development and management objectives; and to provide a platform for networking opportunities among the policymakers, investors, experts and other stakeholders to share ideas and views as well as encourage joint ventures in areas such as industry and infrastructure development.
The Finance Minister said there are multitudes of investment opportunities ahead, which will be further enhanced through this summit.
“Nepal has been able to achieve significant progress in recent years. Our macroeconomic indicators remain sound and stable.


The following is the full text of the Prime Minister’s speech at the Summit:     

Address by Rt. Hon’ble Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Prime Minister of Nepal at the Inaugural Session of the Nepal Investment Summit 2024

(Kathmandu, April 28, 2024)

Former Prime Ministers

Cabinet Colleagues,

Distinguished Delegates,

Esteemed Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Very Good morning and Namaste!

At the outset, I extend my warm welcome to you all to the Third Nepal Investment Summit, 2024. Today marks a momentous occasion in our journey towards economic prosperity and sustainable development. As we gather here, I am filled with a profound optimism and confidence that Nepal is emerging as a premier investment destination, offering boundless opportunities for global investors.

Nepal is the land of Gautam Buddha, Mount Everest and brave people. Equally, it is a country that wholeheartedly welcomes foreign investment. Nepal stands at the center of opportunities, welcoming investors with its untapped potential. Our unwavering commitment to liberal economic policies lays the foundation for a vibrant and investor-friendly business environment. We are strongly committed to carry out continuous reforms to facilitate the investors, industrialists, innovators and easing of doing businesses. In this context, the Government of Nepal has recently amended eight different laws governing business and investment regime. I believe, this boosts the investors’ confidence to invest in Nepal.

Distinguished Guests,

As a nation of peace and stability we have created a conducive environment for economic growth and prosperity. The Federal system of governance ensures a balanced development approach fostering social and economic transformation across the nation.

Nepal provides a number of incentives to foreign investors, including a robust regulatory framework, provision for the avoidance of double taxation, protection of intellectual property rights, competitive corporate taxation, among others. Government of Nepal has recently approved the framework of Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA), which aims to protect and promote bilateral investment. I encourage all our friendly nations to consider signing the BIA at the earliest.

Our liberalized policies encourage foreign investment in prioritized sectors. Our skilled workforce and low labor costs presents an attractive proposition for international investors. Provisions of national and non-discriminatory treatment to all FDIs and guaranteed repatriation in foreign currency further enhance the attractiveness of investing in Nepal.

Distinguished Guests,

With over 60 percent of Nepal’s population falling within the working-age group and a rapidly expanding middle-class population shows the immense potential for consumer-driven growth. Furthermore, our skilled labor force, comprising a significant number of foreign languages speaking youths helps the international investors to find favorite local workforce in Nepal.

Nepal provides a number of investment opportunities across diverse sectors, including tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, ICT, garments, high value crops manufacturing including agro-processing and infrastructure to mention a few.

Our hydropower potential holds the promise of abundant renewable and clean energy supply, while the tourism sector beckons with its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Although, Nepal has a huge potential of hydropower generation, only 3,200MW have been harnessed so far and about 5,568 MW large scale power projects are under construction or in the pipeline of execution through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) modality.

This explicitly shows the enormous opportunities to invest in hydropower sector in Nepal. The existing and planned cross-border transmission lines with India and China facilitates energy exchange within the region. To facilitate the power cooperation within the region, we have signed power trade agreement with India, MOU for power sector cooperation with China and MOU for power export with Bangladesh.

The tourism industry stands as significant contributor to the economy, evidenced by the arrival of over 1.2 million international tourists in 2023, marking a notable 17% increase from the previous year. Likewise, the IT sector is experiencing a steady upward trajectory, with a remarkable growth rate of around 65% in service exports over 2021. Additionally, Nepal presents lucrative opportunities for the export of highly-value cash crops, further enhancing its investment appeal and contributing to economic growth.

The readymade garment and Nepali carpet are also the major products being exported to the global markets and renowned for their quality, having huge potential for investment.

The operation of two Special Economic Zones, alongside several others in the development phase throughout the nation, underscores our unwavering commitment to fostering economic growth and industrial development. Currently, Nepal has ten operational industrial districts, with plans to develop six more, which ensures low initial investments, and access to essential infrastructure and support services.

Nepal’s strategic location, situated between emerging markets India and China, signifies it as an ideal investment destination. Duty-free access to these markets, facilitated by regional agreements SAFTA and BIMSTEC as well as Free Trade arrangement ensure the bilateral and regional markets.

To facilitate the smooth inflow of international private investments, the Department of Industry serves as the approving agency for investments less than 6 billion Rupees, while the Investment Board Nepal handles investments exceeding 6 billion Rupees or energy projects with over 200 Mega Watts. Both government agencies are committed to provide eased and facilitated one stop services within stipulated time frame to both domestic and international investors.

Investment in Nepal is profitable as witnessed in the case of various companies operating in Nepal with significant foreign investment. The share of repatriation of dividend of those companies remains impressive, which demonstrates the profitable investment environment in Nepal.

Distinguished Guests,

The agreements and exchange of Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) witnessed just moments ago symbolize the beginning of a new era of collaboration and partnership. I believe this will have a result in the very near future. I also believe that during this important two-days event, some declarations will be made at different levels; Government to Government, Government to Business and Business to Business and Government and this will project Nepal as a global investment destination.

The multitude of projects to be showcased at this summit herald the vast opportunities of investment in Nepal, with the promise of tangible outcomes benefiting both our nation and potential investors.

As we embark on this collective journey, I am confident that Nepal’s immediate goal of achieving sustainable and high economic growth in the coming decade is well within the reach through the partnership with private sectors both domestic and foreign. With the collaboration and support of all, I am optimistic that we will harness Nepal’s economic potential and chart a course towards economic transformation and prosperity.

At the end, I express my warmest wishes to all delegates for a fruitful and productive summit. We would be reaching to you to materializing the outcomes of this summit. May your time in Nepal be filled with inspiration, collaboration, and opportunity. Together, let us pave the way for a brighter future.

Wishing you a pleasant stay in Nepal.

Thank you!