Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda
Kathmandu: Today we are gathered here to celebrate the 12th anniversary of Investment Board of Nepal (IBN). The last 11 years have been wonderful period in terms of achievement made by IBN. Now we have entered into 12th year with new spirit and commitment. I am optimistic that the new next year will be more fruitful and productive in terms of PPP project developments, FDI attraction along with effective handholding and facilitation to the developers.
I have asked Suhsil jee, CEO of IBN to organize this program to commemorate the anniversary of IBN. I wanted to talk to you, listen to you and hear your concerns regarding facilitation efforts undertaken by the Government of Nepal and its instrumentalities at the local level. It is my top priority to improve investment climate in Nepal. We will continuously work to increase private investment including FDI, for economic development of our country in an inclusive and sustainable manner.
While going through the testimonials of developers, investors, and partners, I am happy that IBN has been able to facilitate effectively despite limited human and technical resources. Some of the achievements IBN has realized are remarkable. I congratulate all who have been part of this institution.
On this occasion, I would especially like to honor our valued investors for showing utmost level of trust to us and disseminating clear a message across the globe that Nepal is an attractive investment destination. It has boosted our confidence and I am confident that it will help us get more investments in the future.
Today, I must say, the establishment of such a high-powered agency 12 years back in 2011 is a testament of Nepal’s commitment for efficient facilitation of large-scale investments. It is an earnest effort laid by the government to attract foreign and domestic private investments in infrastructure projects.
The Public Private Partnership and Investment Act (PPPIA), 2019 has envisioned the IBN as the nodal agency for investment promotion and a resource center for the Public Private Partnership. With the experiences gathered during this period in terms of facilitating and mobilizing large scale infrastructure projects, the government is committed to strengthening this institution. I firmly believe that this will further mobilize private investment in development, construction and management of large infrastructure projects and efficient facilitation of PPP projects.
Nepal has aspired to become the middle-income country by 2030 and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. But due to covid pandemic, global conflict and climate change, the realization of our aspirations within the stipulated timeframe will continue to be a key challenge.
The current 15th five-year plan has envisioned to get more than half of total investment from the private sector and we are in the last year of its implementation. While we are drafting the 16th periodic plan, the government of Nepal firmly believes that resource mobilization from the private sector– domestic and foreign– is crucial for national development.
Since the adoption of liberal market economy in 1990, the government has been partnering with the private sector. The government is always committed to continuous improvement of policy, legal, regulatory, procedural, and institutional arrangement to strengthen business and investment environment.In line with the spirit of the constitution, coordination, and cooperation among all tiers of government is indispensable for creating investment friendly environment. We have been developing various tools and mechanisms to build and strengthen coherence within and among different levels of government.
Hydropower, tourism, agriculture, ICT are our areas of comparative advantage, among many others. We have been practicing Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) modality in a few sectors. However, we also need to develop transformative projects through other new forms of PPP. In this regard, I had instructed IBN CEO to take initiative towards this direction. Nepal is an attractive investment destination and has a favorable investment climate. The opportunities for investment in areas of comparative and competitive advantages are vast. On this very day, I would like to urge all valued potential investors to invest in Nepal.
The government is committed to effective handholding of your investment during the entire business life cycle. We value every investment, large or small, and we are committed to de-risking those investments. I assure all the investors and stakeholders of this ecosystem that the Investment Board Nepal along with other concerned government instrumentalities shall offer you the best services.
Before concluding I would very clearly put my remarks on two/ three points:
First, the present Government is committed to the policy improvement in terms of FDI and for effective handholding of the projects that are in the various stages of development particularly in PPP model. I have directed all government instrumentalities to provide prompt response to the developers. We must show our continued commitment into action. And if there are any grievances of the developers, I have asked CEO IBN to report to me and provide information. I will intervene. Chief Secretary is there to respond immediately to take required action to solve the problems. Please let him know.
Second, Government is seriously thinking of IBN as a fast-track agency with required skill set and human resources. We want IBN to be strengthened in terms of resources, capacities, and service delivery to valued investors. We have already mandated CEO to come up with concrete areas for improvement.
Third, I highly value development partners and Multilateral Banks, and relevant partners for their support and contribution towards our development effort. In this regard, I would like to urge them to work with IBN closely to develop PPP sector in Nepal for increased private sector participation in nation building.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ was addressing the 12th anniversary of Investment Board of Nepal in Kathmandu.