Prime Minister Sushil Koirala inaugurated Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2014 amid a function. Participated by over 700 investors including 30 foreigners, it was first of its kinds of summit held to lure private investors in the infrastructure sector.
Organized by Nepal Government, Neal Investment Board and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), two day summit includes the activities include paper presentations by various experts and discussions on them.
Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, is a guest of honor during the opening plenary. “The aim of the summit was to steer discourse towards Nepal infrastructural development for a prosperous nation, which was echoed by all the distinguished speakers,” said Narendra Kumar Basnyat, president of CNI, at the inaugural program.
Addressing the inaugural session industrialist and president Emirates of CNI Binod Kumar Chaudhari said private sector needs to increase its investments in infrastructures. “As state of Nepal’s infrastructure is poor, there need to have huge investment from private sector,” said industrialist Chaudhari.
According to a World Bank report private sector investment in infrastructure stood at 0.66% of GDP from 2007-12, ranking at the bottom in comparison to the neighboring countries in South Asia. In this context, the summit is very significant.
“We have completed political revolution. Now the time has come for economic revolution. The government of Nepal is ready to work with the private sector to make Nepal prosperous,” said Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.
In the first day meeting, experts and stakeholders have said the conditions have turned favorable for investment in the infrastructure sector. They have also underscored the need for investment in infrastructure to accelerate economic growth.
“Labor unrest and energy crisis are major problems deterring investment in infrastructure. The recent sign of Power Trade Agreement (PDA) and Project Development Agreement (PDA) assure said Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat deliver a key-note speech at a session of the two-day Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2014 that kicked off in the capital on Tuesday. “We (government) can now assure the investors that they will have reasonable rate of returns on their investment in Nepal,” he added.
Delivering a key-note speech, finance minister Dr. Mahat said that the government has taken various initiatives to create favorable environment for the investors to invest in the country
“International Financial Corporation and Asian Development Bank will be permitted to issue local currency bonds,” said finance minister Dr. Mahat. “Singing power trade agreement (PTA) with India, project development agreement (PDA) with GMR, start of the construction of three international airports and amendment to various laws have created favorable environment for investment in the country.”
“The macro-economic indicators of the country are positive as Nepal has surplus budget this year. Nepal is the least borrowing country in the South Asian sub-continent and our foreign exchange reserve is comfortable,” said Dr. Mahat.
“Political stability is a must for attracting investment. “Peace, stability and regional harmony are the political DNAs for foreign investment,” said India’s renowned scholar and professor SD Muni.
“Except in electricity, we have not been able to partner with the private sector. There is a very big scope of such partnership,” said Shanker Sharma, former vice-chairman of National Planning Commission.