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Full text of Prime Minister Prachanda's speech at the Nepal-China Business Summit organized by FNCCI and CCPIT

खबरडबली संवाददाता

Statement to be delivered by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” at Nepal-China Business Summit 

Facilitating Investments in Nepal:
An Interaction with Chinese Business Enterprises

Thursday, 24 September 2023
Beijing


Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China His Excellency Mr. Wang Wentao,
Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade,
Chairman of the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries,
Leaders of the business community,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaskar!!!Good Afternoon!!! Ni Hao!!!

Thank you, FNCCI and CCPIT, for this excellent partnership in organizing "Nepal-China Business Summit" in collaboration with our Embassy here in Beijing. 

I feel privileged to address thisforum ofprominent leaders of business fraternity from both of our countries. We consider you as the engine of growth, driver for technological innovation and change.  


This event stands as an important occasionin our pursuit of enhanced economic partnershipbetween Nepal and China.Engagement of this kind is certain to pave the way for stronger business-to-business relations and investment ties between our two countries.

I am here to convey the message  that Nepal is a land of untapped opportunities where business can thrive, and entrepreneurs and investments are welcomed. 

Among other things, our demographic dividend, with a majority of youthful citizens and a median age of 24 years, puts us in a great position to grow business. 

Bountiful water resources, significant hydropower generation capacity, athriving agricultural sector that can address our food security needs, rich forests with timber and non-timber products, a flourishing tourism industry, and a growing ICT sector are some of the attractive areas of investment which would generate high return to the investment. 

This Summit should focus on building strongcollaboration of private sectors of two countries to achieve high and sustained growth for the mutual benefit of our people. 

Dear Friends, 

This is my third visit to China as the Prime Minister of Nepal and 5th as the leader of Nepal. Every time I am in this great country, I feel amazed by the speed and scale of its developmentinmany spheres. From infrastructure to industrialization, from human development to poverty alleviation, from education and health services to science and technology, the advancement China has made under the able stewardship of the Communist Party of China is rarely seen in the history of human civilization. 

I wish to congratulate the Government and the people of China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping for successfully achieving the first centennial goal of lifting Chinese people from poverty line and convey my best wishes for the second centennial goal of making China a modern socialist country in all respects. 

As a close neighbour, it is but natural for Nepal to desire for enhanced economic partnership with China for mutual benefits.  There are so many enabling factors anchored in close affinity and geographical proximity of our two countries that need to be utilized to promote mutually beneficial cooperation. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nepal and China are close friends and trusted partners. Our two countries enjoy close, deep-rooted and multifaceted bilateral relations, which are based on the principles of peaceful-coexistence, mutual understanding, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

Our relations exemplify how two neighbors of different geographical size, populations and levels of development can be trusted friends and partners. These relations, guidedby immense goodwill, mutual respect, shared aspiration and appreciation of each other’s concerns, have ever been growing on many fronts of mutual interest. 

The history of Nepal-China friendship and fraternity is not confined to modern times. The recorded account of relationsstarts fromthe 5th century when Nepali monk Buddhabhadra travelled to China with the message of Buddhism while Chinese monks Huang Xing and Fa Xian travelled to Nepal and studied Buddhism. In the 7th century, Nepali Princess Bhrikuti was married with Tibetan King SongtanGampo, and in the 13th century, Nepali famous artisan Araniko came to China and enriched Chinese architecture with the genius of arts, architecture and sculpture, as displayed in Nepali-styled pagoda temples.

The interactions then happened onmultiple fronts. Traders and merchants from both sides traversed across the Himalayasselling goods and building bonds. With their indomitable spirit, these early travellers conquered the barriers of mountains and helped generate growth and prosperity.

Today, we are seeking to further build on the very economic linkages that our ancestorsshaped up. 

Nepal-China bilateral trade has continued to grow in a steady and consistent manner. China is the largest source of foreign direct investment and thesecond largest trading partner for Nepal. 

However, the burgeoning trade deficitis a matter of serious concern for my country, which we seek to address. We are making continued efforts to facilitate trade and finds ways particularly to increase Nepal’s export to China. This can be done by enhancing our productive capacity, improving physical infrastructure and making quality certification mechanism more robust. 

We have seen that the export of Nepali products such as tea, herbal medicine, citrus food, buffalo meat, coffee, ginger, yarn to Chinahavegreat potential and should, therefore, be prioritized. We need to reduce technical barriers and ensure preferential treatment to these products.

The export of the first batch of haylage from Nepal to China in the recent past should make us confident that more such export is possible.  

Friends,

Nepal is an attractive destination for foreign investments, as it is endowed with enormous natural and human resources. It has the special advantage of strategic business location due to proximity to two of the world’s largest markets and fastest growing economies. 

We have vast untapped potentials in hydropower, agriculture, tourism and transport sector.

For Chinese enterprises, in particular, Nepal remainsa very attractive investment destination. There is a huge scope for boosting Chinese investment in Nepal in areas, such as: hydropower generation, infrastructure, tourism, SMEs and startup businesses, ICT, agriculture, including highland agriculture, herbal and pharmaceutical industries, e-commerce, new and renewable energy, and so on.

Nepal is all set to graduate from Least Developed Country status in 2026 and aspires to become a middle-income country by 2030.Graduation for us is an opportunity to upscale our productive capacity and undertake structural transformation, which requires significant amountof investment in critical infrastructure and cutting-edge technology. We count on Chinese investment in filling our financial and technological gaps. 

Today, international business environment is facing range of challenges posed by economic downturn, geopolitical turmoil and shifting priorities of the nations. What we see around is decelerated growth, increased inflation, rising food and energy prices and on top of that, the sheer uncertainty of global market. 

Crisis also brings opportunity. I believe that our business leaders are capable enough to turn this global downturn into opportunities by innovation and by doing things differently. We need to enhance economic engagements in neighborhood for greater synergy and efficiency. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

With a view to creating an environment conducive to business and investment, Nepal has introduced variousbusiness-friendly policies and laws to tap the opportunities provided by a peaceful and stable political climate in the country. 

We have introduced a forward-looking Foreign Investment Policy. 

We have enacted the Foreign Investment and Technology transfer Act, 2019, Public Private Partnership and Investment Act, 2019, Industrial Enterprises Act 2019, Special Economic Zones Act, 2019 and many more investment-related legal instruments for facilitating and accelerating investments in Nepal.

Business environment in Nepal is improving as reflected in several reports. 

We are actively pursuing the reform and strengthening of institutions. The “one stop service centre” has been established at the Department of Industries in order to facilitate the investors through simplified and streamlined processes. Similarly, the Investment Board of Nepal has been working actively to promote large scale foreign investment in prioritized sectors on a  fast track basis.

We are committed to making further reforms in policies, regulations and procedures.  

The macroeconomic conditions of our economy are relatively stable, and conducive to long-term investments and economic growth.  The labour laws are flexible and supportive of security of industry as well as of economic growth and efficiency. 

The Industrial Enterprises Act, the Company Act and tax laws and regulations have also been reviewed from time to time to foster business friendly environment. Almost all sectors except a few are open for foreign investment.  

Foreign investment is treated at par with domestic industry. You may establish a new company with equity investment, invest as joint venture or through lease financing as well as by technology transfer agreements.

The energy supply situation has improved significantly. Now we are in a position to export surplus power. Roads, railways and aviation, industrial parks and other infrastructures are under expansion, which would contribute to efficiency and effectiveness of business. 

We have the lowest corporate tax rate in our region. Special industries, enterprises operating roads, bridges, railways, hydropower, transmission lines, etc. under ‘Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT)’ basis are provided special incentive. 

Dear Friends,

Over the years, our two countries have takenimportant initiatives to improve cross border connectivity by building more infrastructure and economic connection. Under the framework of Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, we are working to develop cross border economic zones, road corridors and railway, transmission lines and air connection. 

Nepal joined Belt and Road Initiative in 2017 and we are now working to finalize its implementation plan.

Just a few days back, Nepal successfully imported goods from third country through Chinese port, making it an important step in the implementation of Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement and its Protocol.

Chinese tourists are provided with free of charge visas to visit Nepal.

President XI and I have reached broad consensus on strengthening economic cooperation and partnership between our two countries. We will take further decision on promoting cross border connectivity during this visit. 

We will continue to take further measures to reinforce economic engagement between the two countries. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,  

Before I conclude, let me reiterate our commitment, Nepal will do every possible effort to facilitate  and protect Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the unique opportunity that Nepal has to offer and explore the benefit from the new avenues that have opened up in Nepal. 

Dear Chinese friends, I am eager to welcome you in Nepal. 

It is important to keep up the momentum of enhanced economic co-operation and engagements between our two countries.

Strong collaboration and exchnages between the private sectors of the two countries can meaningfully contribute to the further development of Nepal-China economic relationship for mutual benefit.

Being in possession of tremendous potentials, Nepal can no longer be a country of poverty and privation. 

My government has been making all-out effort to achieve high yet sustained economic growth to bring qualitative change in people’s life. 

Our people deserve better life. And we will deliver it.  

Let us work together and prosper together.

Once again, I thank the organizers for convening such a meaningful event. I wish the Summit a great success.

I thank you all for your attention.XieXie!!

Khabardabali Desk–MB

यो नेपाली भाषाको अनलाइन समाचार संस्था हो । हामी तपाईहरुमा देशविदेशका समाचार र विचार पस्कने गर्छौ । तपाईको आलोचनात्मक सुझाव हाम्रा लागी सधै ग्रह्य छ । हामीलाई पछ्याउनुभएकोमा धन्यवाद । हामीबाट थप पढ्न तल क्लिक गर्नुहोस् ।

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