Statement by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ at Nepal-Dubai Business Forum Investment Potential in Nepal: An Interaction with Dubai Business Communities Thursday, 30 November 2023 Dubai, the United Arab Emirates
His Excellency Abdullah Ahmed Mohammed Al Saleh, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Economy
His Excellency Abdul-Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, President of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce
His Excellency Abdullah Al Shamshi, Ambassador of UAE to Nepal
Mr. Chandra Prasad Dhakal, Chairman of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries
Representatives from the Business Community
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Namaskar, As-Salam-Alaikum, Good Evening!!!
At the very outset, I would like to thank the FNCCI, Dubai Chambers and our Embassy in Abu Dhabi for organizing the Nepal-Dubai Business Forum. I am delighted to be here with distinguished investors, industrialists, and business champions in the vibrant city of Dubai.
Nepal and the UAE have been enjoying excellent relations since establishing diplomatic relations in 1977. These relations are based on sovereign equality, mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, international law, and norms of world peace.
With the residential presence of our envoys in both countries, these relations have been further strengthened over the years.
We both share common views on many global and regional issues and have been cooperating with each other in many forums.
The UAE has achieved miraculous success over the years. The success culminated in strong determination, commitment, and right mix of policies and resources, which we can see here in the UAE.
We have many opportunities where the UAE and Nepal can forge partnerships for mutual interests. Despite direct air connectivity and frequent flights, we have still not realized our full potential. The number of tourists, volume of trade and investment, among others, between our two countries explain this very clearly.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With the successful transition to the Federal Democratic Republic system of governance, Nepal is steadily moving towards the path of peace, prosperity, and development. We aspire to graduate from the LDC category by 2026 and have a plan to become a middle-income country status as well as achieve the SDGs by 2030.
For this, we require huge investments in infrastructure, human resources, and technology. Therefore, I invite our trusted friends and the vibrant business community of the UAE to invest in Nepal.
In recent times, the Government of Nepal has undertaken many policy, legal, procedural, and institutional reforms to create a conducive business environment for attracting FDI in Nepal.
We have enacted the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act, Public Private Partnership and Investment Act, Industrial Enterprises Act and Special Economic Zones Act among others. These laws have been reviewed regularly to promote and accelerate investments in Nepal.
For procedural simplification for investment, we have One Stop Service at the Department of Industries. Furthermore, the Investment Board of Nepal is committed to promoting large investments in sectors prioritized by the government.
Nepal is in the process of concluding Bilateral Investment Agreement with many countries including the UAE to address the interests of the investors.
Policies regarding repatriation of capital and income of the investment are liberal in Nepal. Laws and rules pertaining to land acquisition, company registration and infrastructure development have been simplified and relaxed. It has the lowest corporate tax rate in the entire region.
With all these initiatives, the business environment in Nepal has been improving significantly and I invite investors from the UAE to explore the boundless opportunities that are there in Nepal.
Nepal enjoys macro-economic stability with adequate foreign exchange reserves, contained inflation and favorable balance of payment. The economy is gradually recovering from the adverse impacts of COVID 19 pandemic and other adversities. The opening up of markets presents us with numerous opportunities.
The UAE is the second largest economy of the Gulf region and an emerging global economic power. Nepal considers that strengthened economic ties between the two countries will provide enormous opportunities for mutual benefit.
I am highly impressed from the development pace taken by the UAE in the field of science, technology, innovation and digitalization. Its journey to the Mars and Space has made everyone feel the pride. Nepal commends the leadership of UAE for successfully hosting Expo 2020 Dubai even during the difficult times of COVID 19 pandemic.
In recent times, Nepal has also made remarkable progress in the fields of science and technology, including ICT. Nepal invites investors and the business community to explore avenues to work together in these fields.
Nepal highly appreciates the government of the UAE for being a kind host for Nepali migrant workers who have not only supported their families back home but also contributed to the development of the host country.
The knowledge, skills and capital acquired by the migrant workers in the host country can be capitalized in the socio-economic transformation of the home country.
Moreover, the returnee Nepali migrant workers are yet another source, which can be effectively utilized in the future investment projects by the UAE in Nepal.
Investment in training of migrant workers for enhancing their knowledge and skills for the host country will further add value on their productivity. For this, the bilateral labor agreement between the two countries has been instrumental.
These migrant workers are, in the true sense, goodwill ambassadors and vibrant bridges between the two countries and the peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Nepal and the UAE need to further strengthen people to people relations. The fact shows the dismal flow of Emirati tourists to Nepal despite the natural beauty, proximity, and an arrangement of on-arrival visa.
In recent days, the number of Nepali tourists has increased manifold in the UAE. Dubai has become a regional hub for employment, recreation and the transit point for the other destination. Most of the Nepali nationals are familiar with Dubai and its iconic symbol Burj Khalifa.
We greatly admire that an Emirati couple has scaled the Mt. Everest, through in different expedition teams. It has not only added glory to them but has also familiarized Nepal to Emirati friends.
The Government of Nepal has recently decided to host the third Investment Summit in April 2024. The main objective of the Summit is to invite the potential investors in the areas of comparative and competitive advantage specially in hydropower, tourism, agriculture, and ICT, among others.
We will come up with the key policy reforms and incentives that will be instrumental in attracting private investment. I take this opportunity to extend an invitation to the distinguished investors and business community in the UAE for their valuable participation in that event.
Nepal welcomes the initiatives taken by the government of the UAE for the clean energy transition. In fact, hosting of COP 28 and headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency in the UAE are the testament of its commitment to address the adverse impact of climate change and other environmental crisis.
We believe that COP 28 will be successful in achieving its objectives of clean energy transition, climate financing, funding mechanism for loss and damage and climate justice, among others.
In this regard, investment in clean and renewable energy has vast potential in Nepal as it has immense water resources with improved connectivity of transmission lines within the country as well as market potentials in the neighboring countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Before I conclude, let me reiterate that Nepal stands ready to protect and promote the interests of the investors in Nepal. Nepal is eager to welcome you all.
I believe that your deliberations today will be instrumental in further promoting business to business relations between our two countries.
It is matter of glory for me, during my tenure this time, I had opportunity to visit India first and discuss different issues of bilateral economic cooperation, particularly on the issue of energy – very positive and very encouraging development are there.
At the same time, I had also opportunity to have statement with the business community – FNCCI and the business leaders from India had a very good interaction at that time in New Delhi.
Later on. When I was there in China (China visit) even during that period, I had a very serious discussion and in so many issues, we had come to have an understanding – joint statements, MOUs and so many things.
And, during that period also, I had opportunity to have a statement with the business communities from Nepal and China. FNCCI was the representative from Nepal and Chinese – Chamber (CCPIT). It has also come with a very positive outcome.
I hope that during this UAE visit and this deliberation and this interaction will create a very positive and conducive atmosphere for the investment in Nepal. It is a high priority to take some concrete decisions and concrete actions.
I am very much hopeful that we will succeed to create that atmosphere.
Once again, I thank you all for your kind attention.