KATHMANDU, Oct 4: Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has said that his government was focused in efforts and geared towards investment which is the need of the hour for the prosperity of the nation and for Asia as a whole.
Speaking at a program organised by the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) and hosted here by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the prime minister said through public private partnership, the government will work together in achieving both the goals of enhanced economy and maximized returns respectively.
"We are indeed striving for an economic revolution and I believe that the private sector, with possession of its managerial, financial, and technical prowess, is the best catalyst to move this agenda forward," the PM said.
The prime minister said significant achievements have been made towards the completion of the peace process with the integration of the Maoist army into the Nepal Army.
The prime minister expressed the confidence that they will soon come to agreement on the remaining vital aspects of the constitution, through a democratically elected constituent assembly.
"It is now time that we graduate our focus, redefine our priorities, and put economic strategies and reform in the forefront. We are keen to work with you and invite you to explore opportunities in Nepal, invest in Nepal, and assure you that we are here to support and assist you in every way possible," said the PM.
Dr. Bhattarai said it was important to recognize that in every challenge, there lies an opportunity that is yet to be explored.
"An opportunity, that is yet to be unfolded. An opportunity, that is yet to be tackled. And this conference is a way of expressing our commitment to exploring those opportunities collectively as a region, and building linkages to actually transform those challenges into opportunities", he said.
The PM said as a nation, we are optimistic and outward looking and very much ready to take advantage of the global economic platform by strengthening our engagements with our regional partners. "We have formulated policies and strategies to restore confidence among our investors and that best serves their interests.
We have recently taken several measures to make Nepal a promising investment destination for private investors. Establishment of the Nepal Investment Board by the Parliament through the Investment Board Act 2011 is a reflection of our serious commitment in this regard".
The PM informed that the government recognizes Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as an important approach for development, and the Investment Board is an authoritative body that will make use of the PPP approach in bringing private investments into Nepal.
He said the Investment Board was currently working hard to fast-track mega infrastructural projects, to fine tune policies, to identify projects, to facilitate and provide efficient investors services through a one-window mechanism.
"Agreements we have in place, such as Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement), with various nations indicate our reform focused policy initiative and we look forward to such agreements with many more nations in the near future," the PM said.
The prime minister welcomed industrialists to explore opportunities to invest in Nepal, assuring them needed help from the government and re-orientation of policies to serve the best interest of the investors. "My government will embrace policy change suggestions made by the private sector that are certain to have long term positive impact", he said.
PM´s Economic Advisor Rameswor Khanal urged to invest in Nepal while mentioning that there are enough investment opportunities including in hydro power, tourism, physical infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, mines, mine related industries, and IT.
At the program presided over by FNCCI Chairman Suraj Baidya, NRN´s former president Upendra Mahato and telecommunications multinational Ncell Nepal Chief Tommi Holopainen said return will be guaranteed if investment is made by taking local industrialists into confidence.