Chinese investors pledge $8.3 bn investment in Nepal

Indo Asian News Service

Kathmandu, March 4 (IANS) Nepal Investment Summit, the biggest investment summit in Nepal, has garnered nearly $13.51 billion (around NRs 1,446 billion) in foreign investment commitment, with northern neighbour China leading the pack of investment from six countries.

The Ministry of Industry (MoI), during the two-day event which concluded on Friday, signed Letters of Intent (LoI) with foreign investors for $13.51 billion, which is more than half of the country's GDP structure of $22.49 billion.

"This is the beginning of glorious days for Nepal," an elated Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi, who played a key role in making the Nepal Investment Summit 2017 a success, told the Kathmandu Post.

The current investment pledge made by foreign investors in the summit also exceeds the budget ceiling of Rs 1,156.04 billion fixed by the National Planning Commission for fiscal year 2017-18.

Investors from China alone signed Letters of Intent with the government to inject $8.3 billion in different sectors. Investors from Bangladesh pledged $2.4 billion, from Japan and the United Kingdom signed LoIs to bring $1 billion investment each, while Sri Lankan and Indian investors pledged to invest $500 million and $317 million, respectively.

However, domestic investors have pledged to invest only $11.5 million in different sectors.

According to officials of the Investment Board Nepal, foreign investors have signed LoIs to invest in several sectors, including infrastructure, agriculture and tourism.

Addressing the concluding session of the mega-event, Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi said that the summit was able to pave a glorious path for Nepal's development.

"Such an encouraging commitment from foreign investors will surely give Nepal a major boost as the country moves on the path to prosperity. MoI is committed to materialising this commitment from foreign investors and facilitate additional foreign investment into the country," Joshi said.

According to him, all potential investors who were in wait-and-watch mode have jumped on the bandwagon to do business in Nepal.

State Minister for Industry Kanchan Chandra Bade said the government would reform all the existing policies and laws and make them business and environment-friendly, the Himalayan Times reported.

Maha Prasad Adhikari, Chief Executive Officer of IBN, said a number of committees had been formed to review the commitments and outcomes of the summit. "These committees will constantly follow up to materialise the outcomes of the summit and turn all investment pledges into reality," Adhikari said.

--IANS

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