Preparations underway for impactful investment conference, Says Finance Minister Dr. Mahat

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has disclosed plans for organizing a conference aimed at drawing in local, non-residential Nepalis (NRNs), and foreign investors. During discussions regarding the upcoming investment conference scheduled for May next year, Minister Mahat emphasized, “This time, our objective is to host a more impactful conference to attract investors than in the past. Following the initial meeting of the directorate committee at the Ministry of Finance on Sunday, Minister Mahat explained, ‘Before convening the conference, we intend to hold bilateral discussions with potential investors.'”

Minister Mahat further detailed that the conference plan goes beyond engaging a broad audience; it involves the consolidation of potential investors. He outlined the government’s goal of safeguarding foreign investments through the implementation of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA). He clarified, “The conference is not merely an event; its purpose is to present proposals to capable investors, ensure the security of their investments, follow up on commitments, and turn them into reality.”

“The groundwork for the investment conference is in progress. This conference isn’t solely focused on foreign investments; it aims to bring together Nepali investors and non-residential Nepalis. Foreign diplomats will play a role in managing the conference,” stated Finance Minister Dr. Mahat.

Responsibilities such as legal reforms for the investment conference, technical matters, and disseminating information to investors will be managed by the Coordination Committee and Technical Committee. Minister Mahat also directed preparations for bringing the conference to ‘Sokesh,’ a renowned international platform.

During the initial meeting of the directorate committee, Tourism Minister Sudhan Kirati stressed the importance of an obstacle-free approach to laws and work. He acknowledged potential political hindrances to investment but advocated prioritizing and establishing connections with Middle Eastern countries.

Reflecting on past investment conferences, Ram Kumar Phuyal, a member of the National Planning Commission, noted the commission’s focus on specific countries’ needs rather than centralization. He pointed out weaknesses in the history of investment conferences.

Due to the limited time for conference preparation, Nepal Rastra Bank’s Executive Director Mahaprasad Adhikari mentioned working day and night. He informed about studies in the energy sector but highlighted insufficient attention to other sectors.

Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Narayan Duwadi, emphasized building confidence in the legal facilities and proposed a research-based study in collaboration with consultants for global recognition.

Former Chairman of the Investment Board, Radhesh Pant, stressed an action-oriented approach, project ratings, immediate issue resolution, strengthening the Investment Board, and ensuring permanent staff management. If successful, he suggested the board could sustain itself with its resources.

Chandra Dhakal, President of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries, advocated for smaller conferences before the main event. He emphasized prioritizing the Middle East and addressing foreign investors’ concerns about BIPPA.

Former President of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Haribhakta Sharma, highlighted the incomplete implementation of past conference outcomes. He shared information about India’s success in attracting investments and stressed the need for reforms before the conference. He suggested coordination through the Investment Board, hiring qualified consultants, and producing reports with international credibility.

Kamalesh Agrawal, Vice President of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce, called for preparedness and underscored the effective utilization of natural resources for self-reliance. He expressed excitement about the upcoming investment conference.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday November 27, 2023, 11:42:52 AM |

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