KATHMANDU, Sept 25: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that Nepal will make every possible effort to facilitate and protect Chinese investment and entrepreneurs in Nepal, while calling upon them to take full advantage of the unique opportunity that the country has to offer and explore the benefit from the new avenues that have opened up in Nepal.
"There is a huge scope for boosting Chinese investment in Nepal in areas, such as hydropower generation, infrastructure, tourism, SMEs and startup businesses, ICT, agriculture, including highland agriculture, herbal and pharmaceutical industries, e-commerce, new and renewable energy," he said while noting that for Chinese enterprises, in particular, Nepal remains a very attractive investment destination.
In a statement delivered at Nepal-China Business Summit on the theme "Facilitating Investments in Nepal: An Interaction with Chinese Business Enterprises" in Beijing, the capital of China on Sunday, PM Dahal said Nepal-China bilateral trade has continued to grow in a steady and consistent manner, with China being the largest source of foreign direct investment and the second largest trading partner for Nepal.
He also said strong collaboration and exchanges between the private sectors of the two countries can meaningfully contribute to the further development of Nepal-China economic relationship for mutual benefit.
With a view to creating an environment conducive for business and investment, Nepal has introduced various business-friendly policies and laws to tap the opportunities provided by a peaceful and stable political climate in the country, said Dahal.
"We have enacted the Foreign Investment and Technology transfer Act, 2019, Public Private Partnership and Investment Act, 2019, Industrial Enterprises Act 2019, Special Economic Zones Act, 2019 and many more investment-related legal instruments for facilitating and accelerating investments in Nepal," he said.
The “one-stop service center” has been established at the Department of Industries in order to facilitate the investors through simplified and streamlined processes. Similarly, the Investment Board of Nepal has been working actively to promote large scale foreign investment in prioritized sectors on a fast-track basis, he added.
The prime minister also expressed his commitment to making further reforms in policies, regulations and procedures. "The macroeconomic conditions of our economy are relatively stable, and conducive for long-term investments and economic growth. The labor laws are flexible and supportive of the security of industry as well as of economic growth and efficiency."
Stating that foreign investment is treated on par with domestic industry, he said those interested may establish a new company with equity investment, invest as a joint venture or through lease financing as well as by technology transfer agreements. Furthermore, the energy supply situation has improved significantly, said Dahal.
“Now we are in a position to export surplus power. Roads, railways and aviation, industrial parks and other infrastructures are under expansion, which would contribute to efficiency and effectiveness of business,” he further said.
Prime Minister Dahal also pointed out that Nepal has the lowest corporate tax rate in the region. Special industries, enterprises operating roads, bridges, railways, hydropower, transmission lines, etc under the ‘Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT)’ basis are provided special incentives, according to the PM.
“Graduation to a middle-income country by 2030 is an opportunity to upscale our productive capacity and undertake structural transformation, which requires a significant amount of investment in critical infrastructure and cutting-edge technology and we count on Chinese investment in filling our financial and technological gaps," he noted.
He also referred to Nepal joining the Belt and Road Initiative in 2017 and the work underway to finalize its implementation plan. "Just a few days back, Nepal successfully imported goods from a third country through a Chinese port, making it an important step in the implementation of Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement and its Protocol," said Dahal, adding, "President Xi and I have reached broad consensus on strengthening economic cooperation and partnership between our two countries. We will take further decisions on promoting cross-border connectivity during this visit. We will continue to take further measures to reinforce economic engagement between the two countries."