KATHMANDU, May 16: Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Ramesh Rijal, has insisted on industrial infrastructure development and maximum utilization of natural resources to promote domestic production for advancing towards a self-sufficient economy.
In his address to the inaugural session of the 'Make in Nepal: Swadeshi Summit, 2023" jointly organized by the ministry and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) in the capital on Tuesday, the minister said he is confident that the Summit would prove significant in terms of promoting Nepali goods and services. "The government is committed to carrying out policy-level and practical reforms and providing necessary coordination to promote domestic production."
According to him, the government is committed to building an atmosphere for investment promotion, industrial infrastructure development and optimum utilization of available natural resources. He highlighted the need for coordination between the public and private sector to achieve a self-sufficient economy. "The sustainable development of the economy is not feasible without industrial development."
Also speaking on the occasion, lawmaker Dr Swarnim Wagle echoed the need of restructuring the nation's economy. "Nepal requires to protect and promote some goods and services as per its interest," he said, underlining the need for protectionism for some specific goods and services.
"In one phase of time, we opted for the free market. But now the matter of national security and interests is also the concern of the market and this should be addressed through policy," he said. The lawmaker who is also an economist was of the view of identifying the goods of competitive and comparative advantages and promoting and marketing them.
President of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Vishnu Kumar Agrawal, said this campaign was launched with an objective of increasing the use of domestic products and goods and taking them to the global market.
He opined that Nepal could establish a competitive market through maximum use of natural resources. "We should be able to use the commercial potential of water resources, forest resources, gravels, stones and herbs in a balanced and maximum way to achieve prosperity", Agrawal added.
The CNI president mentioned that the government should attract investment and encourage industrialization by building an industrial park in a public-private partnership model. He further said that six industrial areas announced by the government years ago that have not been developed yet could be developed and run with participation of the private sector.
Stating that around 110 Nepali companies have been affiliated to the 'Make in Nepal: Swadeshi' campaign in the last one and half years, CNI President Agrawal claimed that production of these companies are competitive in both way-quality and price.
"Hydropower, information technology, medicine, medical service, production, handicraft goods, construction, finance and business service, tourism, hotel and commercial farming are our competitive products. The government should bring a special policy with a 10-year plan to encourage investment in these sectors," he said.