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Mon, June 24, 2024

CNI, CCPIT organise Nepal-China Investment and Business Forum 2023

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KATHMANDU:  Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) jointly organised Nepal-China Investment and Business Forum 2023 in Kathmandu on Tuesday. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurated the business Forum. During his address, he said that Nepal has been established as an investment-friendly country due to the easy availability of workforce, revised labour law and improved industrial relations, among other factors. [caption id="attachment_34280" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal inaugurates Nepal-China Investment and Business Forum 2023 jointly organised by Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Photo: RSS[/caption] He expressed that this forum provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen existing business ties and explore new areas of economic and business partnership between Nepal and China. Further, he said, "Nepal and China share a long history of economic, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges. Over the years, we have built strong ties based on mutual respect, trust, and understanding." The Prime Minister said that relations between the two countries are based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence, and have always remained cordial and friendly. This relationship has deepened over the years through regular exchanges of high-level visits. "Nepal is firmly committed to the One-China policy. It has been our consistent policy to not allow our soil to be used against our neighbours. Cooperation between the two countries has expanded in various fields," said Dahal adding that China has been providing generous support in our development efforts." Nepal-China trade relations date back to ancient times. It began with the engagement of merchants from both sides of the Himalayas which continues today in a much more expanded form of trade and exchanges. China remains Nepal’s second-largest trading partner. Currently, more than 14% of our total international trade is with China. Similarly, China is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Nepal. [caption id="attachment_34283" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal addresses Nepal-China Investment and Business Forum 2023 jointly organised by Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Photo: RSS[/caption] Moreover, PM Dahal said, "We believe that phenomenal economic progress achieved by our neighbours would open up wider avenues of opportunity for Nepal to grow and prosper through expansion of export trade and enhanced level of inward investment." He added, "We expect easy and more generous market access to our products in the vast markets of our neighbours. Mutual recognition of standards and accreditation will help promote our exports." The Prime Minsiter briefed the priorities of the present government. He said that Nepal has been pursuing a business and investment-friendly policy. "We have made major reforms in our investment regime that encourage, promote and protect foreign direct investment (FDI). Our tax slabs are one of the lowest and our position is pretty good in ease of doing business. Investment in any sector is profitable in our country given the nascent stage of our industrial development. Promising areas of investment include hydropower, industrial manufacturing, infrastructure development, tourism, agriculture, minerals, and mining, among others." He said, "Our laws permit full repatriation of income earned from investment. Foreign companies registered in Nepal can purchase, own and sell land. No discrimination is made between national and foreign investors. There is no policy of nationalisation of private industry. The other factors that make business competitive in Nepal are the availability of a less expensive workforce, reformed labour laws, and improved industrial relations." [caption id="attachment_34281" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal addresses Nepal-China Investment and Business Forum 2023 jointly organised by Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Photo: RSS[/caption] He informed that the work was ongoing to further simplify the procedures and fully operationalise the one-stop service, and said necessary rules were being developed for the automatic approval of FDI as well. "As Nepal aspires to become a middle-income country by 2030 and graduate from LDC status by the end of 2026, we need significant investments in infrastructure development and maximise utilisation of technology to meet these targets," PM Dahal said. He expressed his hope that Chinese investment would fulfil the financial and technological gaps in the priority areas. He expressed his readiness to offer all legitimate assistance to Chinese companies interested in investing in Nepal. He said that China’s listing of Nepal as a priority destination for Chinese tourists will have a salutary impact on our tourism industry. He informed that the governments of Nepal and China have signed various agreements and memoranda of understanding (MOU) on trade, investment, tourism and others. He stated that the two governments have been discussing the establishment of cross-border economic zones and the opening of more border trading points. Nepal’s growing trade deficit with China and the apparent gaps in commitment and actual investment of FDI from China are some of the issues that the forum like this should try to address with a practical solution. He reminded that Nepal imported goods worth Rs 232 billion from China during the fiscal year 2021/22 while the exports were at a meagre Rs 0.67 billion. PM Dahal emphasized the importance of the roles the private sectors of the two countries can play in fostering business and investment opportunities, taking advantage of the conducive policy regime in Nepal. The head of the Nepali government said the priority has been given to the improvement of infrastructure at Nepal-China border, to establish a fully equipped laboratory for testing and accreditation at the border points, to expedite the construction of port facilities in Nechung-Lizi, Purang-Yari, and Kimathanka-Chentang on the Nepal side. PM Dahal informed that the government has requested the Chinese side to help enhance productive capacity in a range of products of Nepal's comparative advantage and enlist vegetables, meat products, tea and herbal products in General Administration of Customs of China (GACC). The Prime Minister stated, "We have also requested the Chinese side to include some 512 tradable Nepali products in the list of DFQF facilities on a preferential basis. These measures will be important to reduce Nepal’s trade deficit. Trade is the engine of growth and our future prosperity lies in our capacity to produce and trade more." [caption id="attachment_34282" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal attends Nepal-China Investment and Business Forum 2023 jointly organised by Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. Photo: RSS[/caption] On the occasion, CNI President Vishnu Kumar Agarwal said such forums would play an important role in identifying and addressing problems faced by the entrepreneurs of the two countries as well as in charting out the future course of action. CCPIT Vice Chairman Zhang Shaogang said that China has provided tax exemption on 98% of goods exported from Nepal to China, pointing out that China has extended cooperation in increasing Nepal's exports. He said that China's decision to allow Chinese tourists to visit Nepal would help in expanding Nepal's economy. Likewise, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song expressed his country's commitment to providing assistance to Nepal in developing infrastructure.
(With inputs from RSS)
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