KATHMANDU, Sept 29: Investors from Nepal, China and India have sought assurance of policy and political stability from the government.
Speaking at a two-day 'Nepal-China-India Business Summit' that kicked off in Kathmandu on Thursday, they said that Nepal is a both challenging and promising destination to make investment.
"Most of the delegates in the conference have called for political stability and government commitment toward resolving the challenges that investors have raised. And, during the inaugural speeches and subsequent sessions, government officials and representatives from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry, and Investment Board of Nepal have pledged for government's proactive role in facilitating foreign investment," said Bhai Raja Panday, managing director of Invest Nepal Pvt Ltd -- one of the organizers of the summit - said.
As many as 150 investors from Nepal, China and India are participating in the conference to discuss on business opportunities and challenges in sectors like hydropower, infrastructure, alternative energy and human resources in Nepal, according to Panday.
One of the participants, Ajay Arjit Singh of India Global Ventures LLP, said that energy security, labor problem, red tape and complex administrative procedure to set up businesses are some of the major impediments for foreign investors in Nepal. "There should also be proactive communication outside Nepal from the government on why Nepal is a promising business destination," he told Republica on the sidelines of the summit.
Asked about how Nepal can be a bridge between India and China, he told Republica that Nepal should make efforts toward becoming a 'destination' for Chinese and Indian businesses instead of a mere bridge.
Speaking at a session, Kumar Pandey, general secretary of Independent Power Producers' Association, Nepal (IPPAN), said that that investors are ready to provision the risk in hydroelectricity business only if the government ensures policy stability.
"Promoters or developers are ready to take a certain level of risks while doing business. But there should not be frequent changes in the government's policy that adds further risks," he said, adding: "There should be investment friendly environment in the country where the government has attitude, assurance and action to resolve various impediments that we have been raising."
Also speaking at the session, Maha Prasad Adhikari, the CEO of Investment Board of Nepal, said that the board was ready to facilitate foreign direct investment in Nepal. "We are looking for both traditional and innovative business projects from foreign investors," he added.