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April 2017 Cover Story

Published on: 2017-04-26 14:11:09     471 times read    0  Comments

“Infrastructure development our topmost priority to become a middle-income nation by 2030”​

 Pushpa Kamal Dahal,  Prime Minister of Nepal
Pushpa Kamal Dahal 
Prime Minister of Nepal

Back in 2014, the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) along with its partners came up with the first edition of the Nepal Infrastructure Summit. This was the testimony of willingness and commitment of the Nepali private sector in infrastructure development. The event provided us with an opportunity to have an informed discourse in infrastructure development. The most resounding consensus of the summit was ‘For Economic Development, Development of Infrastructure is a Must’. And, for infrastructure development, the partnership between public and private sectors is a must. It laid the grounds for future endeavours with the emergence of useful observations and valuable points of reference. That achievement led the CNI to collaborate with the government along with our partners to organise the second edition of Nepal infrastructure development summit. It is clear that the infrastructure is the backbone for development. The significance of infrastructure development is to drive the overall development. 

Lack of basic infrastructures has forced us to witness economic growth averaging 4 percent over the last one decade. The infrastructure gap has directly hurt development activities. As we are aspiring to reach the level of middle-income nations by 2030, infrastructure development must be our topmost priority. It is true that the public sector is responsible to develop basic infrastructures in the country. But that responsibility is not exclusive. The mobilisation of the private sector should not be considered as a luxury in this regard. The government is aware of the facts and is committed to working in partnership with the private sector, to bridge the infrastructure gap. We have adopted the 3P policy and necessary acts, regulations and guidelines have been streamlined. Infrastructure development in Nepal has been constrained by many factors such as the geography, limited availability of capital and gaps in investment. 

Lack of adequate investment is a major bottleneck to develop necessary infrastructures. A World Bank estimate says that we need to invest eight to 12 percent of the national income in this decade to address the infrastructure gap. This need of investment can be fulfilled by the engagement of the private sector. The role of BFIs is also equally important in this regard. As domestic resources are limited, we also view foreign investment as  essential sources. Despite being landlocked, Nepal is a country of vast potential for development. Our advantage lies in the natural resources, locations and growing population of youths. To tap these potentials, development of infrastructure is a key endeavour. Our water resources, bio-diversity and human resources can be utilised to meet our aspirations of development. 

Last month when I was in the UAE to participate in a major summit for clean and green energy, very important interactions were held and I was really encouraged to appeal to foreign investors to invest in clean and green energy in Nepal. I also had fruitful interactions with the Indian premier Narendra Modi and the Chinese president Xi Jinping. At that time, I conveyed to the two leaders about our concerns in development, particularly the trilateral economic co-operation between the three neighbours. I received positive responses from the executive leaders of the two nations. To realise this potential, cross-border connectivity infrastructure is a key. Various development partners have been helpful in our infrastructure development. The support that our neighbours have provided has been valuable in addressing our infrastructure development need. This is the world of inter-connectedness and connectivity lies at the core of economic success. We can achieve shared success through shared efforts. While the partnership between the governments is important in this regard, the collaboration of the private sectors of the respective countries can be a multiplier. 

Physical infrastructures such as highways, railways, airways, ropeways, waterways along with telecommunication, electricity and water supply are essential in promoting economic development. The development of infrastructure in only one sector will not be enough to advance the holistic development. All forms of infrastructures must be developed and networked properly to propel economic development that is faster, comprehensive and sustainable. To start with, we have prioritised energy and transportation connectivity as the key components of infrastructure development. Our efforts to make our country power-cut free have been encouraging and we want to continue the momentum to generate the required energy to enhance our productivity in agriculture and industries and to promote the services sector. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Dahal at NIS 2017 .

 

“Four ‘Jas’ with huge investment potential in Nepal”​

 Ramesh Lekhak, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport
Ramesh Lekhak
Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport

A country like Nepal often faces a slow pace of overall development due to the deficiencies in infrastructure development. The level of private sector financing in infrastructure has also not been satisfactory. Nepal has been investing a substantial proportion of its budgetary allocations for the development of infrastructure such as roads, bridges and other structures. It is clear that only the engagement of the public sector in infrastructure development is not enough. We need to engage both private and public sectors under the PPP model to develop projects. Such partnership between the public and private sectors can provide superior performance in terms of both costs and time and the advantage increases with the size and complexities of projects. We have promulgated the new constitution which has adopted liberal economic policies. Similarly, there are a lot of legislations to support private sector investment. The situation of law and order in the country has improved. Power supply is getting better and we are trying to enhance the quality of electricity. During a session of this event, I talked about four potential of Nepal, namely ‘Four Jas’. The four Jas are Jala (water resources), Jamin (land), Jangal (forest) and Janashakti (manpower). Railway minister of India Suresh Prabhu mentioned that despite their honesty and hard working nature, Nepalis have been spending their energy abroad for lower wages. We are upgrading the standard of our roads, bridges while also constructing some railway linkages in the foreseeable future. Nepal can be an attractive destination for investment. These four ‘Jas’ are waiting for foreign investment in Nepal. There is still the lack of confidence and trust between the public and private sectors and the need for clear policy guidelines. In addition, it is necessary to improve the environment through the review of procurement procedures and other related rules and regulations. It requires clear, consistent and transparent procedures and development of strong contractual agreements to foster an investment-friendly climate. The government recently has prepared a policy document on PPP in this regard. We are planning to build some projects in PPP modality. The modality can also offer an alternative funding option for the financing of reconstruction of physical infrastructures damaged by the 2015 earthquake. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Lekhak at NIS 2017.

 

 

“BOT and BOOT models for developing and operating tourism related infrastructures” ​

Jeevan Bahadur Shahi,  The then Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil AviationJeevan Bahadur Shahi 
The then Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation

Nepal is a window of attractive landscape varied by geographical diversity, religion and cultural heritage. Therefore, some people like to call Nepal “a unique museum in the world.” The combination of the unique resources has created immense potential for diversified tourism activities in the country. Tourism as such is a private sector driven activity. The private sector has been playing a vital role in the development of tourism in Nepal. But poor infrastructures have been a major hindrance for developing the tourism sector here. So, it is essential to increase investment in infrastructure and other basic facilities. The government’s engagement and investment in infrastructure development is not enough in this regard. The private sector also has an essential role in building public facilities. We can develop infrastructures through private-public-partnership (PPP). The government has adopted policies to encourage and promote private sector participation in the economic development of the country. In the 1990s during the wave of liberalisation in Nepal, there were various attempts to promote PPP approaches for development. Some potential areas for infrastructure development in PPP models have been identified such as tourist standard bus stations in major cities across the country with integrated service centers, information centers, building and operating airports and fast track roads, and construction of luxury hotels and resorts at major tourist sites. Similarly, building trekking trails, tourist roads, cable cars, operating cultural, historical and tourist standard parks, constructing and operating international convention centers in main cities for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) activities. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has been observing 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This requires us to increase investment in the tourism sector focusing on sustainable development of tourism infrastructures. The government has also adopted PPP modalities in this regard. For instance, the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) model has been implemented in constructing the Pokhara Regional International Airport. Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) are other models that we can use for developing and operating tourism related infrastructures. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Shahi at NIS 2017.

 

“Private sector is an indispensable partner in nation building”​​

Vishnu Kumar Agarwal, Vice-President, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI)Vishnu Kumar Agarwal
Vice-President, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI)

Nepal has to invest Rs 10 trillion and attain economic growth of 6-7 percent annually, out of which the two-third is expected to come from the private sector, to graduate to the status of a developing country from the least developed country by 2022. This shows the need for high and sustainable investments especially in the sector of infrastructure.  Experiences of successful countries have shown that the target can only be achieved through the participation of and investment from the private sector. It has become rather a necessity than a choice for us today. The private sector is an indispensable partner in nation building and this is the theme of the Nepal Infrastructure Summit. Since the government is on the driving seat as the policymaker and enforcer, it is its responsibility to support the country’s private sector.  In our businesses, we are responsible to create the right environment for the people associated with us, motivate them and give them direction to achieve the business goals. Whenever they are lagging behind, we handhold them for success. We consider them as our integral parts.  

It is the responsibility of the government to create the right environment, improve the capabilities of the private sector, align the objectives and motivate the business community to achieve the national goals. Nations that have understood this fact have progressed and those that have undermined it have suffered.  The main objective of this summit is to bring the policymakers, bureaucrats, experts, consultants, business community and all concerned stakeholders together to discuss how we achieve development and foster investments in the infrastructure sector for a better tomorrow. We also want a meaningful discourse on how the private sector plays an important role by bringing expertise, professionals and investment to fill the gap.  We also wish to create awareness on how development of infrastructure means growth for everybody in an economy. It became very clear during the first edition of Nepal Infrastructure Summit organised in 2014 that there is an imminent need for new polices to expedite private investment in infrastructure projects. Thankfully, the government came out with the PPP policy in October 2015. The policy has included provision for land acquisition and arrangements of viability gap funding of projects and Project Preparation Facility fund in order to attract the private sector. However, the Act is yet to come. 

All major infrastructure projects should be assessed on their contribution to the national and local economy and society. They must support national goals and growth. Vision is also required to ensure that the clear role for the private sector is created. We need a clear realisation on how major investments from the private sector are prioritised and major projects are aligned to deliver maximum benefits to the economy and society. It was highlighted during the last summit that existing provisions related to Environmental Impact Assessment, forestry clearance and land acquisition for big projects were the major bottlenecks for growth of infrastructure.  In this summit, we will have discussions on policy changes needed to create efficient and attractive investment climate to provide clarity and certainty to investors on pre-process to investments and development of infrastructure projects. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Agarwal at NIS 2017 .

 

“Need of two railway connections between Kathmandu-New Delhi and Kathmandu-Calcutta”​

Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways, IndiaSuresh Prabhu
Minister for Railways, India

Nepal is an economy where investment can have maximum growth in the years to come. I must congratulate the participants of this event who came from India and elsewhere that you have come to the right place in the right time for investment. India views Nepal not only as its favoured partner. It is also as the sure-shot investor here. This morning, I presented a letter to the Minister of Physical Infrastructure Ramesh Lekhak which mentions that India is committed to invest USD 340 million in road projects. The investment is important not only because of the emotional relationship between the two countries but also to help Nepal realise its full potential of growth. 

While we support Nepal in its growth and development initiatives, we all must be conscious about the fact that Nepal has a very unique place in the world because of its bio-diversity. Nepal is the country with the Himalayas which is among the largest source of water in the world. Also, while engaging in infrastructure development activities, we should make sure that they are green infrastructures which do not have adverse effect on the natural resources. It will also be an opportunity to showcase the world that green infrastructure is also possible in a place like Nepal. For this, we need to have more rail networks which are greener than roads in my opinion. The Himalayas are among the most important parts of our ecosystem. We are suffering from adverse impact from climate change for no fault of ours as neither Nepal nor India are the producers of green house gases. Despite that, we are suffering from the adverse impact and can’t we think about developing infrastructures by limiting the impacts of climate change on the entire Himalayan using some strategies ensuring long term sustainability of livelihood for millions of people living in the area. India has started working on some road projects and sent some to the government of Nepal for approval. We are committed to completing the projects in the shortest possible time. We also have plans to build railway connectivity here with a view not only as infrastructure development but in a way that they will be of much higher standard than those in India. We have to construct two railway connections between Kathmandu-New Delhi and Kathmandu-Kolkata in the shortest possible time. 

I believe that with the development of infrastructure, there must also be the development of the global supply chain. We also want Nepal to be a part of the supply chain as it will be integral to create employment opportunities in large numbers. In India, investment in railways total USD five to six billion a year. There has been a sharp increase in railway related investment in India since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014. In the past two and a half years alone, a budget of USD 60 billion has been allocated to the railway ministry. Also with the Japanese support, we are going to construct high-speed railways investing about USD 16 billion. Putting all these together, the railways are going to have huge investments in the next few years and we will make sure that development in railways of India will also help Nepal. I have already discussed with the Prime Minister of Nepal and Minister Lekhak that Nepal and India need to join hands for infrastructure development in the bordering areas. As a follow-up of this summit, you must have another programme in the next three months where we will have expert discussions on various issues related to the development of infrastructures. India would also like to share the technologies it has been using such as drone monitoring in railways. It will help Nepal to better utilize the railways which will be developed here in the future. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Prabhu at NIS 2017.

 

“Mobilisation of public and private sector financial resources for infrastructure development”​

Wencai Zhang, Vice-president Asian Development BankWencai Zhang
Vice-president
Asian Development Bank

We have seen remarkable progress in Nepal in terms of social development. But economic growth has lagged behind, with an average annual growth rate of about 4 percent in the past decade, and there is still a wide gap to reach “middle income” level. Growth has to increase to a sustained rate of 7-8 percent to achieve the government’s goal of reaching that level by 2022, and become a prosperous middle income country and achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030. To this end, ADB commends the government’s recent initiative to prepare a long-term development vision and strategy towards 2030. In this endeavour, we note that building quality and resilient physical infrastructure is one of the most important pillars. Numerous studies have shown that Nepal’s infrastructure investments must grow from 4 percent of GDP in the last 15 years to 8-12 percent. This would be the required resource for Nepal to accomplish key infrastructure milestones by 2030, such as generating 10,000 MW power, connecting all cities and local bodies with blacktopped roads, completing Fast-Track Expressway and major trunk roads integrating with neighbouring economies, having modern international airports, and establishing urban systems to provide quality municipal services. These can fully unleash Nepal’s development potential.  

Achieving these will also require significant improvements in the systems and capacities to prepare and implement more and larger projects and deliver them in time with good quality. Much more financial resources must be mobilised from both public and private sources.

Towards this end, we note that several appreciable steps are being taken. Specifically, they include (i) the new constitution mandating timely budget approval and release (ii) establishing project banks to prepare a number of investment-ready projects (iii) amending procurement laws to streamline the process with better risk control, and (iv) strengthening monitoring and enforcement systems overseen by the prime minister. To attract private investment, a new PPP policy was approved in 2015, based on which a PPP Act has been drafted, and PPP center is being established to implement the policy. But these are still to deliver visible results, calling for further efforts by the government and other stakeholders, and discussion of effective ways in this Summit. To move forward, we underscore the importance of further efforts needed to improve business environment, aiming at greater private investment. 

ADB has been working with Nepal since its establishment in 1966, and has provided more than USD five billion in financial and technical assistance, of which some 75 percent has been provided to assist in building infrastructure covering energy, transport, urban, and irrigation subsectors. Major projects include the 144MW Kali Gandaki-A Hydropower Project, and Melamchi Water Supply Project that is near completion. In the recent past, ADB has provided about USD 300 million annual lending. We are expecting that this can be increased to USD 1.2 billion in 2017–2019, subject to the readiness of projects and improved implementation performance. We also encourage co-financing with development partners to leverage more resources, including climate change financing to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Zhang at NIS 2017 .

 

“Global capital to unlock market opportunities and explore future prospects”​

Nabindra Raj Joshi, Minister for IndustryNabindra Raj Joshi
Minister for Industry

Nepal needs to create jobs for millions of young men and women.  The act of creating, nurturing and growing industries, both small and large is the most economical way to generate jobs. That will also help millions of our fellow citizens to make full use of their potential. We need investment not only in terms of money but more importantly in technological knowhow, contacts and connections to the global market where the customers are interested in buying products and services made in Nepal.  In the last two and half decades, despite the political and other associated challenges, the life expectancy of Nepalis has risen significantly. We have drastically lowered the infant mortality rate and have lowered our annual rate of population growth. We have a generation of young and entrepreneurial minded people who want to create a better life for themselves and others in society. Committed, dedicated and purposeful Nepalis are what foreign investors can expect for in 2017. The politicians have realised the fact and are committed to do their best to achieve the aspirations of the people for a better life. We have already initiated the second generation of reforms to boost the economic growth and to create an investment friendly environment. With the promulgation of the new constitution, our focus has now shifted towards economic transformation. The immense business opportunities here mean that the global capital can be deployed to unlock the present opportunities in the market and to explore the future prospects. Nepal wants to have the technological knowhow and collaboration and in return Nepal is prepared to give foreign investors opportunities in frontier areas such as tourism, infrastructure and hydropower alongside public services such as transport, health and education. In mining too, the possibilities are huge for investors. All major political parties in the government or in the opposition do agree that ensuring economic prosperity in the country should be the primary focus of further political discourse. It is a testimony to the fact that Nepal is now open for business. 

Investment should be a win-win partnership of investors and the host country.  The investors should be able to get returns in proportion of the risk they have taken in terms of their investments. Nepal offers numerous lucrative opportunities in sectors such as water and energy, infrastructure development, high and low volume agriculture, tourism, education and exports along with mines and minerals. These are the areas of competitive advantage in Nepal. We are working with various stakeholders to create an atmosphere which is positive for investors to come and do business here. The government has been actively engaged in policy reforms to address the issues in FDI. We have streamlined the FDI approval processes. There will be no delays in the investment processes. In terms of policies and laws, Nepal is perhaps the most investment friendly economy in the South Asia region. We have allowed 100 percent foreign ownership in most of the sectors. Our tax rates are lower than most South Asian countries. Similarly, we have made entry and exit processes easy for the investors. The government is always receptive to the constructive ideas from the investors. Let us seek the chance to work together for workable governance and practice effective management models so that the funding, expertise, contacts and collaboration all work efficiently together. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Joshi at Nepal Investment Summit 2017.

 

“Nepal needs to open up more for business”​​

Arun Jaitley, Minister for Finance, IndiaArun Jaitley
Minister for Finance, India

It is important for a country to alter its policies and open itself for business to assure both return and safety of the investments in order to become a natural recipient and beneficiary of the investments. It is quite understandable that it takes time for economies to open themselves upto realise the available opportunities. When India decided to adopt liberal economic policies in 1991, many felt that it was not opening on account of conviction but on account of compelling circumstances. But the compulsion took us in the direction which proved to be beneficial and historic. Having grown up in pre-1991 India in a regulated economy, we have learned to live in inadequacies and shortages. That was a part of our way of lives. The state had no option but to restrict because the size of available resources was inadequate. The policies were also intended to redistribute the existing resources rather than to concentrate on productivity. We were running short on forex and cash reserves. It was at that precarious stage of history when compulsion forced us to reforms. Over the last 26 years, we went through various stages. We started by de-licensing, carefully opened some sectors, and decided to breakstate monopoly in certain sectors like telecom. We allowed some sectors of manufacturing to grow and suddenly realised that we have the potential to develop world class industries in India be it in IT/telecommunications, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, and many others. With more resources, the successive governments realised that the lower rates of taxation is good for the economy. The next government corrected aberrations, went in for privatisation and then put up infrastructures creation on the centre stage of the national economic agenda. After benefitting from each of the steps, we found that today we stand on the cusp of history where India became a nation with far more aspirations. The pressure of public opinion on us in the policies pace and government's pace now compels the governments to reform. This also has increased the ability of the government to take bolder decisions. We have started to look for areas where we could compete with the rest of the world. 

Until three to four years ago, when the global economy was marred by sluggishness, many thought that India was a part of the ‘fragile five’. Nonetheless, we continued to reform and analyse the areas of weaknesses. We realised that private investments were lacking. So we expanded the space of public investments opening up for more FDIs. Therefore, the inadequacy of private investments was made up from these other two sources. Because at the end of a day, it is not the colour of investment that matters, but it is the jobs, economic activities and infrastructures it creates ultimately improving the quality of life of people in India. It is the broad hinge of the Indian economy that we have substantially opened up the country for business.

In fact in the budget a few weeks ago, I announced the abolishment of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. 90 percent of the FDI in India now comes through the automatic route. We are the largest recipient of greenfield investments in the world. We have made entry and exit processes far easier than before. To avoid any form of controversy, we decided to have a completely non-discretionary method of allocation of resources. From allocation of contracts, tenders, spectrum to minerals, the state today has no discretion. Market dynamics are the determining factor in this regard. We were worried about our position in the Ease of  Doing Business Ranking. So every step taken was intended to go in that direction. We wanted the states in India to become partners. So we increased their allocation of taxes. Now every other state organise its own investors meet. The states have also realised that they need to beat the next competitor in order to attract investments. So a competitive federalism has developed between the states. 

We have also realised that we need a more modern taxation system. Hopefully, we will have a new indirect taxation system in place from the 1st of July this year which is far more efficient and suitable for industries and trade. It will also eliminate almost all forms of possibilities of tax evasion as well. In terms of infrastructures, we have the largest programme in the world. We have currently 250 national highways under construction, 400 railway stations are being re-developed with the public sector's participation. We are aiming for more sea ports, airports and surplus power. 

I narrated the story not merely to give a broad description of what is happening in India but to underscore the point that there was a time while opening up, we suffered from a fear of the unknown. A lot has been written about what happened in India in the early 90s. Today we look back with a sense of satisfaction that the road we took led us to a better future. I am quite certain that with the available human resources and desire the government of  Nepal has been displaying, the roadmap of this country will almost be of grounds similar to India. After all, we are a set of people with common heritage, similar habits, language, culture and religious beliefs. Situated at the advantageous point of the Himalayas, nature has always blessed Nepal. Notwithstanding the tragedy two years ago, the country has advantage of not only nature but also in cultural and religious tourism. You have unexploited water resources and hard-working people. There are a lot of deficits Nepal needs to overcome. India is deeply committed in helping Nepal. We look into further cooperation in areas including hydropower projects, transmission lines and new roads. The development of railway networks is another area we can cooperate in to increase the connectivity between Nepal and India. Similarly, there are other areas for cooperation between the two neighbours such as establishing educational institutions, engineering and medical colleges and health care institutions and construction of irrigation systems. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Jaitley at Nepal Investment Summit 2017.

 

“Government in policy reform drive to create a favourable investment environment”​

Shankar Prasad Koirala, Secretary Ministry of IndustryShankar Prasad Koirala
Secretary
Ministry of Industry

Nepal wants to create a positive environment by reforming the existing polices. Policy reforms are necessary to address the obstacles in investing as Nepal aspires to become a developing country by 2022 and middle income nation by 2030. The contribution of the industrial sector in the country’s GDP is around five percent at present. We have a target to increase this upto 20 percent. Likewise, the political transitions in Nepal are already completed and now our focus is on economic transformation. All major political parties have shown their commitment to make Nepal politically stable and to create a conducive environment for investors to invest in Nepal. In this regard, the government has taken various initiatives to formulate necessary policies and initiated structural and procedural reforms to achieve the objectives of economic prosperity through industrialisation. At present, we are working on reforming and reviewing the relevant policies related to the industrial sector.

Recently we have come up with the reformed Industrial Enterprise Act which is very comprehensive and has tried to address the concerns of the Nepali private sector. It has simplified and clarified procedures for entry and exit of investors. There is the provision for a one-stop service centre which has been long demanded by the private sector. The one-stop system will provide necessary assistance to investors in customs, tax, remunerations and other areas. Aiming to provide various concessions to the industries, the Act has included several provisions as well. To facilitate the one-stop services, there is also a coordination committee chaired by the Director General of the Department of Industry. We will make sure that at least an under-secretary of the concerned department has to be physically present to facilitate the services to the industries. 

The Act will also encourage good relations between industrialists and workers.  Strikes that hamper the operations of the industries will not be allowed. Similarly, additional tax exemptions and special incentives will be provided to those industries established in industrial zones and special economic zones. The Act has also incorporated important provisions related to the lease of land and end of land ownership. We have already drafted the regulation and it is almost complete. The Special Economic Zone Act is another policy reform initiative. This is the first Act that parliament has enacted especially to establish and promote economic zones across the country. It has some important provisions such as the one window service. Investors who wish to establish industries inside the SEZ areas do not need to come to Kathmandu. They can register the companies and receive all types of facilities in SEZ areas which include services related to income tax, and others.

 Strikes are strictly prohibited at the SEZs under this Act in order to maintain a good relationship between the investors and workers. The draft of the regulation for the Act has been prepared and we are going to submit it to the council of ministers very soon. Likewise, policies related to mines and mining have already been approved by the cabinet. The mineral policy has been drafted to foster mining activities in the country in a sustainable manner. Meanwhile, the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act (FITTA) is undergoing amendment. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Koirala at Nepal Investment Summit 2017.

 

“Government in policy reform drive to create a favourable investment environment”​

Jin Liqun, President Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Jin Liqun
President
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) 

We have entered into a time of unprecedented changes in the world. It is a time when countries are looking for world stage and re-examining the role they want to play in the future regardless of the size of their economy and population. The globalisation defined the 20th century. What would define the 21st century? This question is more relevant to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which was formed against such socio-economic backdrop. AIIB was created to help countries to foster sustainable economic growth and development along with an aim to promote regional connectivity and cooperation through investment in infrastructure and other productive sectors. 

In the first year of operation, we have made important progress in very respects and have approved a lengthy programme of USD 1.73 billion USD leveraging a total amount of USD 12.5 billion. AIIB has an important role in teaming up with sovereign governments, international organisations, private sectors to address infrastructure challenge in countries like Nepal. As a multilateral development bank, part of our job is to help countries pick projects that will improve social and economic outcomes without going down being trapped into environmental degradation and global warming issues we have been facing at present. 

AIIB will be a bank with 21st century governance. We thrive to be lean, clean and green. We don't want to build a huge bureaucracy. We have zero tolerance for corruption and we will promote sustainable economy. AIIB will act as a facilitator to promote economic social development. The projects that we fund must be financially sustainable, environment-friendly and accepted by the local communities. We do the projects only the way people choose. Our professional team has already visited Nepal and right after returning back they have started to process the projects. One of our areas of focus is renewable resources such as hydropower.  

We would be able to support the Nepali economy by helping the country to tap its natural resources. We will be working actively with the private sector here. This will help Nepal to strengthen its economy without adding up to the country’s sovereign debt. Nepal has huge challenges to address, but with the government and people putting their  consolidate efforts, we are willing also to work with the World Bank, ADB  and other multilateral development agencies join hands to do better, faster and in more cost effective manner. 

Adapted from the speech delivered by Liqun at Nepal Investment Summit 2017.

 

 


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