Oli urges Indians to ‘seize biz opportunities’ in NepalPrime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Friday told Indian businesspersons to “seize business opportunities” in Nepal by investing in “virgin” areas that are “highly profitable”, as he said the country is now safe for foreign investment.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Friday told Indian businesspersons to “seize business opportunities” in Nepal by investing in “virgin” areas that are “highly profitable”, as he said the country is now safe for foreign investment.
The premier made the call during an interaction with representatives of three Indian private sector umbrella bodies—the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India - in New Delhi.
Representatives of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries also attended the meeting.
Oli is on his first official visit to India after becoming the prime minister on February 15.
“Indian investors have invested across the globe, so why not next door Nepal?” the PM questioned. “Geographical proximity, easy access and cultural similarities are all there to make you feel good about Nepal,” he said.Nepal needs massive foreign investment to embark on a journey of sustained economic development, as domestic capital is not adequate to achieve higher growth rates.
Nepal’s economic growth rate stood at an average of around 4 percent per annum in the last one decade, which is very low for a low-income developing country. People are now looking up to Oli to rekindle growth, as the period of political transition is over in Nepal following completion of local, provincial and federal elections, and shift from unitary to federal system of government.
Oli has also talked a lot about economic development since the left alliance, which he cobbled, secured a resounding victory in the first ever-state assembly and federal parliamentary elections. Delivering his first speech after the alliance’s electoral victory, he said he would focus on “good governance, jobs creation and development” to deliver economic prosperity.
Although politicians have long been talking about economic prosperity, which has now become a catchphrase, none has been able to walk the talk. Yet Oli is in a position to make sweeping changes, as the left alliance enjoys close to two-third majority in Parliament. “Following formation of a strong government, law and order situation has improved. This means Nepal is now safe for foreign investment,” PM Oli said, adding, “We need massive investment in every sector.”
He also assured Indian businesspersons there is adequate market for goods and services produced in Nepal.“Nepal lies between world’s two vibrant economic powers, India and China, with population of over 2.5 billion. We enjoy duty-free quota-free access to markets of neighbouring countries and duty-free access to European market, while the United States provides preferential treatment to over 70 products manufactured in Nepal,” Oli said, adding, “Almost every sector, including manufacturing, hydropower, IT, mining and agro, are open for foreign investment. We are also committed to liberal economic policies with private sector as the key partner.”
PM Oli also said the Nepali government was ready to listen to Indian businesspersons to improve business environment in Nepal. “Reform is always desirable. And we want to know your views,” he said and asked Indian entrepreneurs to “come and talk to our authorities”.
FNCCI President Bhawani Rana said Nepal needs Indian investment to bridge widening trade gap between the two countries. “This is the most opportune time for investment in Nepal and take benefit from the country’s untapped potential,” she
said, adding, “Nepal, despite some challenges, is a profitable market.”