HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Two successful investors — former president of Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) Upendra Mahato and Ncell’s chief financial officer Tommi Holopainen — shared their experiences and encouraged the private sector delegation from the 20 Asia-Pacific nations to take risk, courage and find local partners to invest in Nepal. They mentioned that the time was opportune and the country offers huge potential in every sector as it has just started its journey towards economic development.
“Every sector in Nepal has huge potential,” said Mahato, addressing the session ‘Investment Opportunities in Nepal’, during the 26th conference of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) here in the valley today.
“There are difficulties in doing business in every country around the world,” he said, adding that it is easier to invest in Nepal as compared to other nations.
This conference will help place Nepal in the business map of Asia and the Pacific, said Mahato, who lives in Russia but has invested in Nepal. “However, don’t go for a quick-fix solution and allocate enough funds for building the capacity of local human resources for a long-term business prospective,” he suggested.
Holopainen, on the occasion, shared Ncell’s experience in investing in Nepal, as the company has invested over $ 500 million in the last four years. “We have started to repatriate dividends to our parent company,” he shared.
The country has simplified the dividend repatriation process, various tax and customs tariff, and industrial policy besides forming the Investment Board as a one-window shop to make it easier for investors, said economic advisor to the prime minister Rameshwor Khanal, outlining the investment potential in Nepal.
“Hydropower, tourism, infrastructure — airports, roads, industrial corridor — agriculture, health, education, mining, and IT/BPO are some of the potential sectors that foreign investors can look at,” he said, informing the delegation about the government’s preparation for 50 mega projects soon.
The meeting with a slogan ‘A Vision for Shared Prosperity’ has seen private sector representatives of — who are eager to share opportunities and collaborate — the Asia-Pacific region.
The march towards prosperity will not be possible without the private sector as the locus of growth, said prime minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai addressing the session.
Nepal is indeed striving for an economic revolution and “I believe that the private sector, with its managerial, financial, and technical prowess, is the best catalyst to move the agenda forward,” he said, adding that the government is committed to ensuring that investors are provided the best investment climate that yields the highest returns with minimal costs and efficient service delivery.
Chairing the session, president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry — the organiser of the conference — Suraj Vaidya urged the visitors to make best use of their visit and forge collaborations with Nepali businesses.
Similarly, addressing the session, ‘Asia in the Global Economy’, finance secretary Krishna Hari Baskota also said that the government has taken various policy measures to attract foreign investment to Nepal.