Address by Rt. Hon. K P Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal at Viet Nam-Nepal Business Forum Hanoi

Address by Rt. Hon. K P Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal

at Viet Nam-Nepal Business Forum

Hanoi, 10 May 2019

Vu Tien Loc, President, Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

Distinguished Members of the Business Community both from Viet Nam and Nepal

Friends from Media,

Ladies and gentlemen:

It is a distinct pleasure to be among you all here in Hanoi. I would like to thank the organizers for making an excellent arrangement for this programme.

I feel inspired to meet here the leaders from business community, investors and entrepreneurs.

While sharing this platform with you here today, I feel more optimistic for closer economic collaborations in the days to come.

Leaders of Nepali business community are also with me here as part of my delegation.

Together we have brought a clear message –the government as well as the private sector in Nepal are determined in their journey to prosperity.

I hope the business delegation will make the best use of this platform to interact with their Vietnamese counterpart in exploring business and investment linkages between Nepal and Vietnam.

Dear Friends,

Our two countries have been enjoying excellent friendship bolstered by social, cultural and religious affinity.

We share a cordial relationship –based on the principles of non-interference and mutual respect.

There is an immense potential to strengthen our economic relations as well.

The economic transformation of Viet Nam after the introduction of Doi-Moi reforms has been remarkable.

Viet Nam’s story of transformation from a war-torn agrarian economy to a vibrant middle-income country is truly inspiring to all of us. It has shined as one of the bright stars of emerging economies.

Viet Nam has not only grown, but has also increased its welfare gains. Your growth process has been an inclusive one and therefore a model for achieving sustainable development.

This has been possible only due to the leadership of Vietnamese government and business sector and the hard work of Vietnamese people. In this success story of Vietnam’s ascent, the role of Vietnamese business community is truly outstanding.

Your boundless energy is an inspiration to us.

Your spectacular success is an encouragement to us.

Dear Friends,

Today, Nepal stands at a historical juncture.

The country has emerged as a Federal Republic after the fall of monarchy. We had to pass through a difficult insurgency and decade long political transition. With the promulgation of new constitution in 2015, the peace process has come to a logical end.

Nepal has gone through political transformation of tremendous scale.

Now, our ambition is of economic transformation – of equally tremendous scale.

The elections held in 2017, gave a strong mandate to my party and now we have a stable government in Nepal. Two largest communist/left parties have unified as one. The government enjoys over two-thirds majority in the Parliament.

With the consolidation of political changes, now Nepal has entered the phase of economic build-up.

Nepal has been a remarkable success story of peace process.

Now, our ambition is of socio-economic prosperity –of equally remarkable success.

The Government has a motto of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali”. We have a vision of graduating from the LDCs at an early date, to become a middle-income country and to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The government is currently working on the concept paper for the Nepal’s development called “Vision 2100”.

Realization of this dream requires huge investments –in infrastructures, in human resources, in financial sector .

Dear Friends,

Nepal has now emerged as a confident nation –which is aware of its capabilities and potentials; which is aware of its resources and prospects.

We are determined to build a prosperous nation –with resolute domestic efforts coupled with international cooperation.

Recently, we successfully organised the Investment Summit. The Summit saw participation from over 40 countries including Viet Nam. During the Summit, investors have pledged to finance 18 mega projects.

For investors, Nepal is a virgin land. Investment anywhere and everywhere is full of potentials with assured rate of return.

Nepal’s advantage lies in our rich natural resources, abundance of labour forces and our location between two largest markets. Investment in Nepal will open avenues to the world’s two largest markets; India and China.

There are opportunities for investment in multiple sectors –hydropower, agriculture, mineral resources, medicinal herbs, hospitality industry and financial markets.

As an LDC, we have preferential access to some of the international markets.

Labour cost is low and competitive.

The country enjoys a demographic dividend, with 57 percent of working-age population. Every year over 500 thousand youths enter into job market.

Large number of English speaking and digitally connected youths are our important asset. This makes ICT sector another area for profitable investment.

With the increase in household incomes, our domestic market is also increasing. Our active participation in regional forums is extending our market size.

The cultural similarly and shared aspiration of prosperity makes the business engagement easier.

We are developing international airports at two prime touristic hubs of Pokhara and Lumbini.

Dear Friends,

We have been incessantly pursuing for making Nepal a prominent investment and business destination.

Political stability has ensured policy stability and consistency. The Government has clear objectives, goals and direction for country’s development.

We have created an investment-friendly environment through the enactment of necessary laws and announcement of a series of policy measures. Protection of foreign investment is guaranteed by law.

The new Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act ensures national treatment to foreign investment.

We have adopted liberal investment and business policies; simplified the procedures; ensured one stop service to open and close business ventures. We have allowed foreign investment in almost all sectors. Negative list is kept at minimum.

Private sector is taken on board as an indispensable partner for economic development. Public -Private Partnership and Investment Act has paved the way for synergetic engagement of both sides for investment.

We have flexible labour policy.

A universal, contribution-based social security system is being implemented. It has ended the possibility of labour strikes and frequent industrial disputes.

We have introduced low tax regimes and created conducive fiscal environment. Our tax regime is transparent, predictable and investor friendly.

Simplified and liberal visa rules apply to the investors and their dependents.

Laws and rules pertaining to land acquisition, company registration, environment assessment and infrastructure development have been simplified and relaxed.

The government has made several attempts like agricultural modernisation, digitisation and Youth Employment programmes.

Nepal Investment Board which I chair is a dedicated organization that looks after major investment projects. Similarly, the Department of Industry and Industrial Promotion Board further augment existing investment mechanism.

Our government machinery is easily accessible. We have robust institutional setup.

Nepal also aims to increase participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs) which will bring capital and new technologies.

The success of competitive and economic development lies in innovation and knowledge. We aspire to innovate at level of small and medium sized enterprises as well.

Dear Friends,

The signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Nepal and Viet Nam on Framework Agreement on Promotion of Trade and Investment will boost economic cooperation between the two countries.

This will augment the activities on business community of both countries including Chambers.

Our efforts for regional and global connectivity have further enhanced and intensified which will reduce the time and costs of access to markets.

As I said before, investment in Nepal will open up avenues to the world’s two largest markets. Simplified transit system with India is in place. An Agreement on Transit Transport and its Protocol with China have enhanced the access to the sea.

Multi-modal transit transport system has reduced the delivery of goods reducing transit transport costs.

Furthermore, we are motivated by digital connectivity which will compensate geographical landlockedness.

Dear Friends,

The vast untapped resources and virgin fields for investment makes Nepal an attractive

business destination.

The market-friendly incentives, business-friendly liberal policy, and robust institutional mechanism make Nepal a profitable business destination.

Peace, security and rule of law make Nepal a safe business destination.

I invite the investors, entrepreneurs and businesspersons from Vietnam to make best use of the opportunity available in Nepal.

I encourage you to make the optimum use of opportunities. Frequent exchange of business delegations can be helpful to explore the opportunities. Partnership for capacity building can augment our economic ties. Joint ventures and partnerships can bolster the business.

To those who are exploring the business prospect in Nepal, I assure you that your venture will be profitable and secure.

I would like to thank the organisers once again for this opportunity.

Thank you.