KATHMANDU, March 2: The government has approved a total of Rs 29.83 billion in foreign direct investments for six different joint venture projects.
A meeting of the Industry and Investment Promotion Board chaired by Minister of Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi held on Wednesday decided to approve the foreign investment proposals of six different foreign joint ventures in the hydropower, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. While four investment approvals are related to increasing the capital base, one company has received approval for new investment. The other one manufacturing company is consolidating its capital of two separate units.
Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi told Republica that the foreign investment decision worth nearly Rs 30 billion has sent a message to the world that Nepal is an attractive destination for foreign investors. "Some of the laws related to investment including the Special Economic Zone Act have already been passed while we have expedited the process for the passage of other required laws as part of the second generation reforms. The government wants to create more favorable environment for investment," he added.
The decision to approve foreign investment for various projects comes on the eve of the Nepal Investment Summit, which will see participation by 270 investors from 23 countries. Jin Liqun, president of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are the keynote speakers of the summit where deliberations will be held on nine different thematic issues ranging from energy to agriculture.
According to the Ministry of Industry, the board has given its nod to the Soaltee Hotel Limited to increase its capital by Rs 1.64 billion.
Langtang Bhotekoshi Hydropower Company Ltd has also received the go-ahead from the board to pour additional Rs 17.49 billion to its capital base. The hydropower company where a Chinese venture Sichuan Huani Energy Investment Ltd has 90 percent stake, plans to generate an additional 22 MW of electricity in Rasuwa.
Similarly, Sarbottam Cement Pvt Ltd, where the Hong Kong-based Krishna Holdings Ltd has stake, also acquired the board's approval to add Rs 3.97 billion to its capital base.
Sinohydro Sagarmatha Company Ltd is another foreign joint venture which has got the approval to increase its capital base. According to MoI officials, the hydropower developer, where Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Group has 90 percent stake, will now add Rs 3.41 billion to the capital base.
Likewise, Dolma Impact Fund, Mauritus, is planning to invest Rs 320 million in Nepal as the board has approved the proposal of Swetganga Hydropower Construction Pvt Ltd to sell its 320,000 units shares at Rs 100 per share, according to a statement of the MoI.
With the consolidation of capital of two units, an additional amount of Rs 3 billion will be invested in Arghakhachi Cement Pvt Ltd. Uma Cement International, an Indian firm, has a stake in the cement manufacturing company.