KATHMANDU, May 11:
A delegation led by Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey is leaving for Seoul on Monday to participate in an investment seminar being attended by different South Korean investors.
The three-day seminar is organized by Nepali embassy in Seoul on the occasion of 40th anniversary of bilateral relations between Nepal and South Korea and Nepal. Minister Pandey is scheduled to inaugurate the event on May 15.
Deepak Dhital, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), said the seminar would focus on five identified areas of economic diplomacy. The identified areas of economic diplomacy are promotion of foreign aid, international trade, tourism, foreign employment and foreign investment.
Nepal´s participation in the seminar can be significant as South Korea has already become member of Organization for Economic for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — a forum of countries that promotes policies to improve economic and social well-being around the world.
The delegation comprises of industry secretary Krishna Gyawali, joint secretary at the Ministry of Energy Udaya Raj Sapkota, and CEO of Investment Board Nepal Radhesh Pant, among others.
According to Sapkota, the Nepali delegates will apprise Korean investors of the investment environment and opportunities in Nepal in sectors ranging from tourism to hydropower.
A group of South Korean companies is developing Upper Trishuli I Hydropower Project (216 MW) in Nepal. The Project Development Agreement (PDA) negotiations for the project are currently underway. Likewise, another Korean company is providing electromechanical services to Chamelia Hydropower Project which is being promoted by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
Likewise, a separate company of South Korean government is involved in preparation of detailed project report for the East-West Railway Development Project.
Khadga Bahadur Bishta, President of Independent Power Producers´ Association (IPPAN), said they have prepared a presentation on investment opportunities in hydropower sector in Nepal. “Though we are not participating in the event, the presentation will give a snapshot of Nepal´s hydropower sector to the prospective Korean investors,” added Bishta.
Dhital also claimed that some private sector representatives are attending the seminar. However, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry said it is not sending any delegation to Seoul. Officials of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) said though they have received invitation from MoFA they were not provided detailed information about the event. “We have circulated the invitation to our members. But we don´t know whether or not our members would be participating,” Hari Bhakta Sharma, senior vice President of CNI, said.
With gradual improvement in investment climate, foreign missions in Nepal and development partners have expedited discussions to attract more foreign investment in Nepal. Various business delegations from different countries are frequenting the country in search of investment opportunities.
Source : Republica