Distinguished Business leaders,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Namaste !
At the outset let me express my gratitude to all the delegates who have come to participate in the summit from all over the world. We are overwhelmed by your invaluable presence and encouraged by your interest on our call for investment in Nepal. It is testimony of the improving business climate in Nepal. It is also growing trust and solidarity of investors for Nepal.
It is my belief that in last two days deliberations, meetings and interactions between public to private and private to private sectors have remained fruitful to you all.
I can assume that the private sectors, by participating in the summit, have got chance to understand the overall investment regime of Nepal and the potential sectors for investment including a project bank to explore the potential investment projects suitable to their expertise. At the same time foreign participants have also got opportunity to interface with Nepal private sector and negotiate for further possible collaborations. This platform for Nepali private sector was to find partners that can not only bring in much needed funds for new venture or expansion and modernization of existing business units run by themselves but also induct the state of art technology, management skills, marketing strategies, new market, product standardization, innovation and production efficiency.
Distinguished business leaders
You also have already listened the series of reforms that the government of Nepal has already introduced or are being introduced in near term. The new institutions created that are related to investment, the initiatives taken to enhance the capacities and efficiency of service delivery institutions and the procedures simplified to create hassle free environment also certainly have shared with you. Let me emphasize here once again that the overall reforms are intended to create business friendly environment and to ensure predictability of investment related decisions. Reform is a dynamic process that demands periodic review and update as per the changes that would occur internally and externally in a due course of time. Let me assure you that the reform we have initiated will be continued to make Nepal as an attractive investment destination and to ensure the fair rate of return on your investment.
As an event, the immediate success of this summit is measured based on your overwhelming presence and successful holdings of meetings and deliberation. But let me share my perspective that the investment decision is not an event but it is a long term commitment therefore rational investment decision demands political stability and consistent policy for a reasonable period of time. I am informed that the government authorities have assured you to give continuity on their efforts of making investment friendly environment. In the long run the project agreements signed or to be signed due to the platform created by this summit should produce satisfactory outputs in terms of attractive rate of return to the investors and tangible benefit to Nepal in terms of contribution in socio-economic development endeavors. Successful investment venture is a long term collaboration of business enterprise and the government for common benefit that is, again, attractive rate of return for investor and employment and revenue generation to the government. I hope and wish that the summit will create a conducive environment to all the parties involved for entering into mutually beneficial collaboration.
Although you have listened from previous speakers, including the Rt. Hon. KP Sharma Oli, in their earlier speeches, let me reiterate about the most favorable political condition we have created for investment in Nepal at present. Last 12 years from 2006 onwards we took initiative for major political milestones such as peace agreement, election of constituent assembly, promulgation of constitution from the constituent assembly elected by the people, abolition of feudal monarchical system to establish federal democratic republic, election of all three tiers of government and establishment of stable government. In this process we have shown great resilience, flexibilities and accommodations of the concerns of different sections in the polity that can be a useful example to the conflicting parts in the world. Today we can confidently say that most complex situation can also be handled and find amicable resolution of conflicting or competing issues of any magnitude and dimension if the conflicting parties show due diligence and flexibilities to find a common ground for settling conflicts.
We have accomplished the task of setting political agenda create political stability and now focused wholly on economic transformation. We are fully aware that the hard-earned political achievements and stability so far can be sustained only when they are fully backed by the economic development and the improvement of the living conditions of the people.
Dear distinguished guests
A Nepal is a land of unparallel natural beauty and a country with amazing natural and cultural diversity. Nepal is also endowed with bounty of natural resources not yet fully harnessed for the advancing economy and improving living conditions of 30 million people. In a nutshell, Nepal is a country of abundance opportunities. Nepal offers relatively underdeveloped virgin areas waiting for investment. Prosperity and good life is a long cherished goal of Nepali people. Nepal has huge demographic dividend with big chunk of economically active youthful population. The median age Nepali population is about 22 years only which is highly favorable for labor intensive industries. The diligence, honesty, integrity and loyalty are the hallmarks of Nepali human resource that was, by and large, earned over the years while working in different part of the globe. The hundreds of rivers that originate from high Himalayas sharply descend to southern plate creating naturally unique condition to produce hydropower throughout the river stretch. The power market is growing rapidly and will further accelerate with industrialization. Further, meeting the immediate requirement of the country vibrant regional markets with acute power deficit are also opened for power trade. Nepal’s status of duty free, quota free, status in western and neighboring markets are equally important avenues to be taken into consideration for establishing manufacturing industries in Nepal.
Almost 2/3 of population is engaged in agriculture that too can’t produce sufficient food for entire population. The modernization of agriculture is already over due. We are the world’s most diverse country in terms of culture and nature. Nepal is the only vertical country in the world which elevation sharply descends from 8884 meter to 65m of sea level just within 200km of aerial distance. Although Nepal is pioneer in tourism industry in South Asia endowed of bounty of tourism resources that hardly many country can be compared to in terms of varieties we can offer. The expansion of tourism related infrastructures are in progress but the scale of investment required and knowledge or technology we possess for building such infrastructures is hardly meeting the demand. The alpine to subtropical and tropical climate within a narrow band of topography provide unique natural conditions for growing varieties of flora and fauna and many species of animals and plants that virtually makes the entire country a unique botanical garden and beautiful zoo.
Nepal’s unique topography offers tremendous opportunities for innovation based business research and development. We are committed to improve our intellectual property regime to protect your intellectual property right. I do not want to go on detail because you have already heard during the thematic sessions from the relevant authorities. I just tried to pick up few points to reemphasize the priority of the government and opportunities available to us.
Development of infrastructure is our utmost priority. Connecting neighboring countries by efficient transport means such as cross border railways, highways, airways, information ways, and power transmissions, are equally important vital projects that we need to develop to connect Nepalese economy to the outside and to make our economy competitive. Government is ready to facilitate the development of economic zones, industrial parks and special economic zones for creating conducive environment for manufacturing industries and innovation related industries. Digital technology is cross cutting issue that is open for private investment has great chance to expand.
Dear business leaders
Our constitution has provided us a framework for socio-economic development. We have recognized the role of private sector in economic development. We want to promote private sector in order to ensure economic efficiency and enhance innovation as a rewarding phenomenon. Public sector should create conducive environment for private sector to operate. Government also should create enabling condition for them to play pivotal role in economic development. Role of private sector for economic development is indispensible. Public sector should focus on social development, ensure safety and security of people and investment both. Public sector also has to ensure equal level playing field for market competition. Public private partnership model is expected to employ efficiency and share risks and benefits.
While talking of foreign investment we equally underscore and value the investment from domestic private sector. Foreign investment can be and should be complementary to the domestic investment not to replace. Nepali private sector should stand ready for the induction of modern tools and techniques, technologies and knowledge and finance from the foreign enterprises. Private sector ensures efficiency and enhances productivity; public sector ensures social security and safety.
In conclusion, we are open and ready to accommodate and address the genuine concerns of investors. This summit is a platform to discuss on common issues for solving common problems of making investment a boost for socio-economic transformation of Nepal society. We want to make this event a milestone in our quest of the fast pace of economic development with equity. I hope and wish that the participants of this summit will leave this venue with optimism and determination to be a part of socio-economic transformation of Nepali society by engaging themselves in mutually beneficial economic activities. For foreign delegates, while you are in Nepal please fins time to go around and enjoy cultural variety, the natural beauty, and serenity of Nepal.
Lastly, I want to extend my deepest thanks to you all for your participation and making a grand success of this summit. I also thank Investment Board Nepal for organizing such an encouraging event.
Thank You !