Nepal Investment Summit-2024 to proceed unfazed despite political shift, finance minister assures

KATHMANDU: Amid growing uncertainties surrounding the success of the forthcoming Nepal Investment Summit-2024, Finance Minister Barshaman Pun has reassured that the event will not be affected by recent political developments.

The government has officially announced plans for the third edition of the investment summit, scheduled to take place on April 28-29 in Kathmandu. The primary objective of the summit is to attract a substantial amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) for various infrastructure projects.

During a meeting with bankers on Thursday, the newly-appointed Finance Minister Pun emphasized that there would be no slowdown in summit preparations despite the recent change in government leadership.

The ambitious program, initiated by the government in November 2023, has faced criticism due to perceived challenges in bureaucratic readiness and the necessity for updated legal frameworks. Similar concerns were raised during the previous two investment summits, leading to lower-than-expected FDI inflows.

A committee led by outgoing Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat has been actively involved in the preparations for the investment summit. The government had committed to revising over a dozen laws to create a conducive environment for potential investments in the lead-up to the summit.

However, the formation of a new coalition government, awaiting a vote of confidence within the next month, has raised questions about the summit’s effectiveness.

Pradyumna Prasad Upadhyay, spokesperson for the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and a member of the technical committee, asserted that the change in government would not impact the execution of the investment summit.

According to Upadhyay, 125 projects have already been shortlisted by consultants and various government agencies. “Preparations are underway to study the stages and viabilities of these projects,” he stated.

As per the IBN, the government is poised to finalize investments totaling Rs 301.18 billion in four major projects during the summit. These projects include the Nepal-China Friendly Industrial Park in Jhapa, Upper Marsyangdi-2 Hydropower Project, grid-connected solar projects in Banke and Kapilvastu districts, and the expansion of Dabur Nepal’s production capacity.

A project development agreement for the Nepal-China Friendly Industrial Park, estimated at $786 million, will be signed during the summit. Additionally, the government is inviting Chinese investments worth $647 million for the 327 MW Upper Marsyangdi-2 Hydropower Project.

Agreements for investments totaling $185.5 million will be inked for two 125 MW grid-connected solar projects. Dabur Nepal is also expected to commit Rs 9.68 billion for the expansion of its production capacity during the summit.

Fiscal Nepal |
Saturday March 9, 2024, 11:42:21 AM |

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