Nepal's foreign exchange reserve reaches USD 10.9 billion, can handle import for nine months: FinMin Mahat

Published On: May 13, 2023 12:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 13: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Saran Mahat said that the current youth population will expand the country's economic activities. 

Dr Mahat made the remarks while addressing the international conference for investment in Nepal organized by Investment Board Nepal.

“The positive side of Nepal is the young population with a high potential demographic dividend and the digital transformation we have seen in the post-pandemic era,” he said. 

According to him, the average age of Nepal is below 26 years and the National Planning Commission has predicted that the demographic dividend will continue to exist in the country until 2050.

"We will still have a sufficient youth population that will support the country's economic activities in the days to come," he said. “Nepal’s debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio will remain sustainable. There is no stressful situation for Nepal due to external debt obligations.”

He said that the challenge is to make maximum use of the available resources. "Right now we have not been able to fully capitalize on this power," he said, adding, "We have more than 300,000 foreign migrant workers. It is somehow supporting our economy in the form of remittances, which we have not been able to use sufficiently to invest in the productive sector,” he said.

Similarly, he said that the immense potential for sustainable finance with renewable energy will be an example for the world. He said he would welcome discussion suggestions on how international funds can be mobilized to meet the country's infrastructure needs and enable it to achieve sustainable and continuous economic growth goals.

Finance Minister Mahat has said that in order to achieve the goal of sustainable development, sufficient financial investment should be made to close the infrastructure gap, the challenges of climate change should be addressed and inclusive, broad and sustainable economic growth should be achieved. He also said that there is a need for coordination and systematic discussion on how to increase the flow of investable funds in the country.

"Our monthly remittance flow is about 80 billion and our foreign exchange reserves are 10.9 billion dollars, which is enough to import goods and services for more than 9 months," Dr. Mahat said.

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