Expedite law amendments to make Investment Summit a success

Published On: April 11, 2024 07:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Nepal is gearing up for the much-awaited Investment Summit slated for April 28-29. The investment summit expects to bring in a huge amount of foreign direct investment to usher the country's prosperity. However, it is troubling to note that a number of laws that need to be amended to attract foreign investors in Nepal are still pending ratification in the parliament as opposition parties have mounted parliamentary obstruction demanding formation of a parliamentary committee to probe scams involving the amount deposited in a number of cooperatives. But as the ruling parties have shown no sign of budging to the demand of the opposition parties, the smooth functioning of parliament remains uncertain. We call upon all parties including the government and opposition parties to prioritize the expedited amendment of crucial laws to ensure the success of this monumental event. The summit, themed ‘Emerging Nepal,’ promises to showcase 125 feasible national-level projects, offering a beacon of hope for economic revitalization and growth of the nation. Foreign investors are less likely to be attracted toward these projects unless the laws that are deemed unfriendly to foreign investors are amended before the Summit. 

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s emphasis on providing a secure and investment-friendly environment is commendable. With invitations extended to over 1,100 potential investors and more than 100 projects identified for showcasing, there is a palpable sense of optimism surrounding the summit. From clean energy to tourism, agro-processing to manufacturing, Nepal offers a myriad of investment opportunities for potential investors. However, the realization of these opportunities hinges on swift legislative action as shown by the experiences in the previous summits. The government's failure to amend necessary laws promised for revision casts a shadow over the promising prospects of the summit. While pre-event initiatives in foreign countries showcase proactive engagements, they ring hollow without the requisite legal framework to support investment endeavors. At the heart of the matter lies the responsibility of both the government and opposition parties to set aside partisan differences and prioritize national interests. The success of the investment summit transcends political affiliations—it is a collective endeavor to usher in a new era of prosperity for Nepal. 

Needless to say, the identified projects, ranging from the Nepal-China Friendly Industrial Park to the Upper Marsyangdi-2 Hydropower Project, hold the potential to catalyze economic growth and create employment opportunities for Nepalese citizens. However, their realization requires more than just rhetoric—it demands actionable legislation and a conducive regulatory environment. The legacy of past investment summits serves as a poignant reminder of the pitfalls of inaction. While intentions may be noble, unless backed by tangible progress on the legislative front, they risk being overshadowed by unfulfilled promises. As the countdown to the investment summit begins, there is no room for complacency. The government must expedite the amendment of laws to instill confidence in investors and pave the way for a successful summit. In this regard, the opposition parties must also demonstrate responsibility by lifting their parliamentary obstruction and prioritizing national interests over political brinkmanship. We believe that Nepal has an opportunity to position itself as a beacon of stability and growth in the face of global economic uncertainties. The investment summit serves as a crucial milestone in this journey, but its success hinges on decisive action from all stakeholders. 

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