Over a dozen int'l firms knock IB door for investment
BHOJ RAJ POUDEL
KATHMANDU, Feb 15: More than a dozen companies from China and India have approached the Investment Board (IB), showing interest to invest in different sectors ranging from hydropower to mining in Nepal.
Some half a dozen Indian companies have expressed strong interest to invest in airport, hydropower and transmission line, disclosed Radesh Pant, CEO of the IB.
Chinese firms approaching the board too have expressed willingness to put their money on long-term projects like hydropower, mining and infrastructure development.
“The companies are in regular discussion with us,” Pant told Republica.
He, however, refused to disclose the name of the companies, saying it would be inappropriate to name them until a final decision is made.
IB, which has been coordinating with the foreign investors in order to lure overseas investment for the upcoming Investment Year 2012/13, has also finalized its structure in order to facilitate overseas investors and deal with their issues.
Pant said the board will have five sub-divisions -- project assessment, investment generation, investor services, policy services and governance.
“Fundamentally, these units have been worked out in order to make IB a long-term professional arm of the government,” said Pant, who has been leading the government´s ambitious plan of attracting foreign investment amounting to $1 billion during the second half of 2011/12.
Pant is confident of achieving the ambitious target provided that there is conducive business environment in the country.
“Once we prepare all the legal frameworks to protect investment, I am sure we will start receiving foreign direct investment (FDI),” he said, further disclosing that investors from other countries like France, US and Japan too have shown interest to invest in Nepal.
Revision of FDI Policy
The government has taken initiatives to revise Foreign Direct Investment and One-Window Policy (FDI) policy 1992 to create a sound legal framework during the Investment Year 2012/13.
Ministry of Industry (MoI) in assistance with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has hired a team of experts to review the existing policy.
“We have taken service of a team of experts to get meaningful review of the existing policy,” Anil Kumar Thakur, joint-secretary of MoI, said, adding: “After getting the report, we will make necessary changes in the policy.”