Finance Minister Pun World Bank For More Investment In Nepal

Finance Minister Pun World BankFor More Investment In Nepal

April 18, 2024, 8:15 a.m.

Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun last night held separate meetings with World Bank (WB) Group Vice Presidents Akihiko Nishio (Development Finance) and Guangzhe Chen (Infrastructure) at the Washington DC-based WB Headquarters.

According to the Minister's Secretariat, the Minister thanked Akihiko Nishio for entertaining Nepal's proposal to organise a meeting of the International Development Association (IDA-21) under the World Bank Group in Kathmandu in the coming June.

He also met with Riccardo Puliti, International Finance Corporation (IFC) regional vice president for Asia and the Pacific.

The Finance Minister apprised WB Vice President Akihito that preparations for hosting the event are going well in cooperation with the WB Nepal Office in Kathmandu. He also utilised the time to call on the WB to explore further areas of investment in Nepal through concessional loans or grant schemes.

As he said, Nepal's latest achievements in the areas of telecommunications, transport, and clean energy are capable of catching global attention.

As he said, Nepal has adopted the Kathmandu Declaration incorporating a strategic action plan for Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (Grid) that was endorsed by the Government of Nepal and its 16 development partners in 2021. As per the concept of the Declaration, Nepal will be implementing the First Nepal Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Programmatic DPC in the upcoming year.

The Minister also acknowledged the WB's initiation to invest in the 1,063-MW upper Arun Semi Reservoir Project and the 635-MW Dudhkoshi Reservoir Project.

Similarly, during his meeting with another Vice President, the Minister said Nepal accorded top priority to the infrastructure development. "The Nepal Government focuses on energy, transport and urban infrastructure-centered projects," he said.

He said a roundtable meeting held with the WB's Kathmandu-based officials regarding the financial modality of the Upper Arun and Dudhkosi was productive, expressing his hope of finding a solution for the financial management for the implementations of projects soon.

Stating that both projects are the 'game changer' projects of Nepal, he expressed the belief that their development will enhance the country's capacity of building big infrastructure projects. He shared that they were confident that the finance management of the Upper Arun Hydropower Project would be done within coming mid-July.

The Finance Minister informed that works like distribution of compensation to the people affected by the Upper Arun Project, construction of the approach road and land acquisition are in completion phase.

Reiterating that Nepal has ensured the regional market for hydropower, he said an agreement has been reached for exporting 10,000 megawatts power to India in the next 10 years and the process has been forwarded for Bangladesh to buy Nepal's power.

During the meeting with IFC Vice President Puliti, Finance Minister Pun expressed the belief that collaboration between IFC and Nepal would be further deepened in the coming days. Recalling that Nepal and IFC have five decades long collaboration, he said IFC has invested in Nepal's tourism sector for the first time.

He said the cooperation extended by IFC for Nepal's economic endeavours and for the private sector development through capital management is laudable. He also appealed for increasing the investment areas as well as capital mobilization and technical assistance in the days to come, noting that IFC has been providing assistance in Nepal's tourism, energy, transportation and agriculture sectors.

Minister Pun reiterated that there are better investment opportunities for investment in the information technology sector in the coming days. According to him, Nepal has adopted the policy of welcoming foreign direct investment due to its small economy, which is looking for investment capital.

In the three separate meetings, the Finance Minister informed that the Third Investment Summit is going to be held on April 28 and 29 in Kathmandu with the goal of increasing the foreign direct investment, adding that high-level participation is expected in it.

Minister Pun left here Monday for the USA to participate in the Joint Spring-time Meeting of the WB and the IMF. (RSS)

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