Nepal and the UAE established diplomatic relations in 1977. The bilateral cooperation between the two countries has since increased manifolds. While the UAE is the fourth largest trading partner of Nepal, this Middle Eastern nation is also one of the popular destinations of Nepali migrant workers. The two countries also share common views on significant global issues ranging from renewable energy, climate change to world peace and fight against terrorism both as a member of the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement at the multilateral level. Against this context, Republica's Kosh Raj Koirala talked to UAE Ambassador to Nepal, Saeed Hamdan Al Naqbi, to understand the current state of bilateral relations between Nepal and the UAE, potential areas of cooperation and ways to further promote bilateral relations between the two countries. Excerpts:

Is FDI really the panacea we seek?

September 15, 2022 13:15 pm

FDI needs to be viewed as a means to achieve SDGs and not an end in itself. This means that all FDI potential projects should be viewed from the lenses of environment, labor and human rights, SMEs, health, inclusion and diversity.

Nepal's FDI exceeds Rs 227 billion

September 14, 2022 10:39 am

KATHMANDU, Sept 14: Nepal received foreign direct investment of over Rs 227 billion from 55 countries as of mid-July.

KATHMANDU, June 27: Nepal received commitments for foreign direct investment (FDI) worth Rs 51.56 billion in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, which was around Rs 13 billion more than the commitment made during the same period last year.

KATHMANDU, May 29: The government has revised the minimum threshold for foreign direct investment (FDI) to Rs 20 million from the existing Rs 50 million.

KATHMANDU, May 16: Nepal received commitments for foreign direct investment (FDI) worth Rs 34.54 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

KATHMANDU, April 29: At a time when the country’s foreign reserves are declining, the commitment for foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased, according to the Department of Industry. In the past nine months of the current fiscal year, more than Rs 33 billion of FDI has been approved.

KATHMANDU, April 11: The government has started a workout to reduce the threshold amount for foreign direct investment (FDI) from the existing Rs 50 million.

New York, Jan 14: Fusemachines, an AI talent and education platform and service provider, has announced $1 million USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) from Business Oxygen Private Limited (BO2), a Nepal-based private equity fund bringing foreign investments to help local companies grow on Wednesday.

KATHMANDU, Dec 21: Foreign firms pledged to invest Rs 30 billion in Nepal in the first five months of the current fiscal year.

KATHMANDU, Dec 9: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows have increased this year after the transmission of COVID-19 declined. According to the Department of Industry (DoI), foreigners have taken permission to invest around Rs 30 billion in Nepal in the first four and a half months of the current fiscal year.

KATHMANDU, Dec 8: The government is introducing provisions for issuing infrastructure bonds and blended financing, claiming that the move is aimed at attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) in mega projects.

KATHMANDU, September 20: Foreign investors are found increasingly attracted to run hotels in Nepal with such companies proposing to invest in around two dozen hotels in the first two months of the current fiscal year.

KATHMANDU, July 19: Lack of clarity on the policy of foreign direct investment (FDI) and procedural flaws existing at the bureaucratic and political fronts has appeared as a major hindrance to attract foreign capital, said experts.

KATHMANDU, June 8: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), in a bid to shorten the process for licensing of the foreign direct investment (FDI)-based companies, has scrapped the provision that required foreign investors to take permission from the central bank to bring in the foreign capital inside Nepal.

KATHMANDU, April 23: Nepal’s realization of foreign direct investment (FDI) is far lower than the amount pledged by the foreign investors, shows a report unveiled by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) on Wednesday.

KATHMANDU, April 10: Foreign investors pledged to invest Rs 24.79 billion in Nepal in the first nine months of the current fiscal year

Should there be FDI in agriculture?

February 8, 2021 08:00 am

FDI flow in agriculture will increase competition and because of the sheer size of capital, it might create an unequal playing field for the domestic investors. This is where the current hue and cry is coming from.

KATHMANDU, Jan 13: The government has enforced the Regulations of the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act (FITTA), allowing the authorities to adopt flexibility on issuing residential visas to foreign individuals and investors on ‘conditions’.

KATHMANDU, Jan 11: The private sector has urged the government to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in primary agriculture production only after assessing prudently the nature of investment.

KATHMANDU, Jan 6: The government’s recent decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in primary agriculture production has invited a controversy.

NEW DELHI, Nov 17: India is considering a plan to allow up to 26% foreign direct investment from countries with which it shares a land border, including China, without government scrutiny for some sectors, the Economic Times reported on Tuesday, citing government officials.

KATHMANDU, Nov 13: Nepal has seen less than half the pledged amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) materialize in each of the last five years. Data from the Department of Industry shows that Nepal received commitments for cumulative foreign investment of Rs 114.96 billion in the past five years.

FinMin defends removing loan from FDI

August 31, 2019 08:58 am

KATHMANDU, Aug 31: Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada has defended the provision in the new Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act (FITTA) to remove loan from the components of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

KATHMANDU, July 3: After the establishment of one-stop service center at the Department of Industry, foreign direct investment (FDI) of Rs 7.92 billion has been approved for 41 industries from the information technology (IT), manufacturing, services and tourism sectors.

Post-summit challenges

April 16, 2019 01:05 am

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an effective instrument for promoting sustainable development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Nepal. Realizing this fact, the government of Nepal has organized three investment summits so far. First was in 1992 following the restoration of democracy. The investors attending the summit had pledged investment of approximately $100 million, but only around 25 percent of the pledged amount was realized.

Post-summit thoughts

April 14, 2019 02:05 am

Before and even after Nepal Investment Summit 2019, there have been debates for and against such investment promotion event. Some claimed this is not the right time to organize the event when investment-friendly environment is still elusive in the country. Others went to the extent of saying that it would be a mistake to go for such summit without evaluating the achievement of 2017 summit.

Whose Investment Summit?

April 9, 2019 01:25 am

Nepal Investment Summit 2019, held in Kathmandu on 29-30 March, was so well attended that the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies couldn’t even find a vacant seat in the opening session of the conference.

KATHMANDU, March 31: With a strong kick start to Investment Summit Nepal 2019, 615 delegates from over 40 countries provided a strong platform for dialogues and articulate discussions regarding Nepal's potential market.

KATHMANDU, March 30: Investors at home and abroad attending the 3rd Nepal Investment Summit have sought full implementation of Nepal government's commitment to put procedural reforms and policies for investment security, while expressing their excitements over favourable environment created for investment in Nepal.

Marshalling foreign investment

March 30, 2019 01:05 am

The government of Nepal has organized Nepal Investment Summit, only two years after holding a similar conference, with more than 600 delegates from foreign governments, multinational institutions and companies around the world. Government has showcased 77 projects with cost of US$ 33.6 billion, and the private sector has proposed 17 projects at $1.8 billion, making the conference price tag $36.4 billion.

KATHMANDU, March 17: Energy projects top the government priority for foreign direct investment (FDI) in terms of investment amount, according to the Investment Board Nepal (IBN).

KATHMANDU, March 15: Investment Board Nepal (IBN) has prepared a list of 50 projects for showcasing to foreign investors at the Nepal Investment Summit 2019 scheduled for March 29 and 30.

KATHMANDU, March 11: The association of dairy cooperatives has opposed the government's plan of allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in milk production and processing.

KATHMANDU, March 3: Dairy industrialists have urged the government not to open gates for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the dairy sector, stating that the country was on the way to becoming self–sufficient in dairy products.

KATHMANDU, Feb 3: Back in March 2017, Nepal received foreign direct investment pledges amounting to $13.51 billion and many hoped something big was going to happen in the country.

KATHMANDU, Feb 1: As the government plans to host Investment Summit next month to attract foreign direct investment in Nepal, the US – one of the major potential source countries for FDI – has said that “real, bold and tangible reforms both at laws and practice” are necessary to instill confidence among potential investors.

Dec 29: 6 things to know by 6 PM today

December 29, 2018 18:00 pm

Your daily dose of missed important news of the day.

KATHMANDU, Dec 2: Even though the government has been trying to court foreign investors into the country, foreign direct investment (FDI) fell in the first quarter of the current Fiscal Year 2018/19.

KATHMANDU, Oct 4: An Indian company with foreign direct investment has been found in trading activities, which is listed as negative by the law for foreign investors.

KATHMANDU, Sept 7: Private sector leaders and economists have said that the government should roll out red carpet to foreign direct investors only after making sure that their investments do not compromise or affect national interests of the country.

KATHMANDU, July 19: Investment Board Nepal (IBN) has approved a foreign direct investment proposal of Dolma Fund Management, a Mauritius-based company, to set up a 170 MW solar plant in Nepal.

KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow in the first six months of FY2017/18 nearly doubled to Rs 14.33 billion compared to Rs 7.9 billion in the first half of the last fiscal year, a recent data of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) shows.

KATHMANDU, Jan 4: Only a third of the total outstanding stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) is on paid-up capital while the remaining portion is held in reserve or debt, according to a study conducted by the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).

KATHMANDU, Sept 3: The government has signed an agreement with a Chinese investment company to bring foreign direct investment worth US$ 251 million in a cement factory.

KATHMANDU, June 24: The country has received a total of Rs 11.61 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first ten months of the current fiscal year.

KATHMANDU, Sept 8: Hydropower experts have stressed the need to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) for the development of hydropower sector.

KATHMANDU, Aug 29: China has surpassed India in terms of committing foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nepal.

KATHMANDU, Aug 29: Foreign direct investment pledges went down by a whopping 77.5 percent in the last Fiscal Year 2015/16 compared to 2014/15.

Why FDI?

August 20, 2016 00:35 am

With the paucity of economic resources and our weak technical know how, we have no option but to attract FDI for large-scale infrastructure projects