KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Nearly 50 percent of tourism industries in Nepal opened with foreign direct investment (FDI) has Chinese investment.
Department of Industry (DoI) issued permission to open 54 such industries, particularly hotels and restaurants, with Chinese investment in the last fiscal year. It had issued permission to open 122 industries with FDI in 'tourism' category in the review year.
Chinese investors had received permission to open 62 hotels and restaurants in Nepal in 2014/15, while the total number of tourism industries opened with FDI in that year was only 132.
Chinese hotels and restaurants are coming up in tourists hotspots of Thamel, Patan and Bhaktapur as well as Pokhara.
Bipin Rajbhandari, chief of FDI Division under DoI, said the trend of opening hotels and restaurants with Chinese investments is on the rise. “However, such projects are of small scale," Rajbhandari said, adding that the country needs big investments in hotels and restaurants to serve high-end tourists.
Not only Chinese investors, Nepali businesspeople are also investing in Chinese restaurants. Shyam Rajkarnikar, the promoter of Indra Chowk-based Chinese Sumai Café, said that he opened the eatery two years ago, offering Chinese momo called Sumai. "Most of my clients are Chinese tourists," added Rajkarnikar.
Nepal received Rs 6.21 billion worth of FDI commitment from Chinese investors in the last fiscal year. Investors from the northern neighbor have proposed to open 125 industries in Nepal. DoI had permitted to open total 153 industries with foreign direct investment of Rs 4.33 billion in the review period.