Nepal’s Finance Minister secures agreements for hydropower projects in US talks

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Barshaman Pun, who recently returned from a successful visit to the United States, has emphasized heightened interest from the US government, private sector, and development partners to collaborate more closely with Nepal.

Speaking to journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport upon his return, Minister Pun expressed satisfaction with the outcomes of his participation in the 2024 Spring Joint Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. He highlighted that discussions with US government officials and representatives from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) revealed a strong willingness to bolster cooperation with Nepal.

“The US government, private sector, and development partners are keen to increase support and investment in development projects in Nepal,” Minister Pun stated. He noted that industrialists and business persons have shown significant interest in the upcoming investment summit scheduled to take place in Nepal later this month.

During his visit, Minister Pun engaged in discussions with prominent US private sector entities such as Coca-Cola, Meta, and Disneyland, exploring opportunities for collaboration and investment in Nepal. He also conveyed optimism regarding ongoing projects under the Millennium Challenge Nepal Account Development Committee (MCA-Nepal), emphasizing the constructive role of MCC grant assistance in infrastructure development.

Minister Pun further disclosed important agreements reached during his discussions with top officials of the World Bank, including a concessional loan of approximately $8.5 million for the 1,063 MW Upper Arun Hydropower Project in Sankhuwasabha. Additionally, talks were held on co-financing arrangements for the 635 MW Dudhkoshi Reservoir Hydropower Project.

The visit also saw deliberations on climate change mitigation and compensation for low carbon emitting countries like Nepal. Minister Pun underscored Nepal’s commitment to clean energy production and highlighted the country’s potential for exporting clean and green energy.

Throughout his stay in the US, Minister Pun engaged in a series of high-level bilateral and multilateral meetings, including interactions with key entities such as the International Finance Corporation, USAID, US International Development Finance Corporation, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

In conclusion, Minister Pun reiterated Nepal’s appeal as an attractive destination for international investors and emphasized the government’s commitment to facilitating and promoting investment opportunities in the country.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday April 21, 2024, 01:49:38 PM |

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