The government is organizing a second investment summit on March 29-30, 2019 in a bid to promote Nepal as an attractive destination for foreign investment by welcoming over 600 investors from 40 countries. Under the motto, “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali', the summit will attract foreign investment (FDI) for physical infrastructure and industries based on energy, information and communications technology, tourism, agriculture and forestry. The summit will also be an opportunity to share information and exchange national and international experiences on investment.
The government has been implementing a number of policy reforms to facilitate business, and promote a competitive investment climate and create a range of investment opportunities in all seven provinces of Nepal.
The government had hosted the first investment summit in March 2017. The summit had secured investment pledges worth US$ 13.74 billion. However, most of the pledges were not materialized. Foreign investors are still skeptical.
What lessons have we learned from past experience? What we need to insure beyond policy reforms in the changed context? How do we address governance issues beyond technical fixing of FDI?
Some of my views are:
People have suffered a lot in the name of politics in Nepal. Now, people want less politics and more economic development. The current political disputes amongst political parties is not a good sign of quality politics to contribute to political stability and economic development in Nepal. Let us not politicize extremism in the name of religion, caste or ethnicity.
The political parties should rise above win-lose attitudes and work together on national agendas for development, international relations and foreign investment. They should exercise a culture of tolerance and cooperation on major issues, and more important, political parties must exercise financial transparency within them.