The Nepal Economic Summit 2014 that kicked off with an aim to attract domestic and foreign investment concluded with 19-point declaration in order to develope Nepal economically.
The three-day Summit was jointly organised by the government and the private sector’s apex body Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) with the slogan 'Destination Nepal for Investment'.
The declaration has given priority to the agriculture, tourism and energy as the priority sectors for Nepal’s Economic Reform.
As per the declaration unveiled by joint secretary at the Ministry of Finance (MoF) Madhu Kumar Marasini on the concluding day, the declaration aims to create an environment of policy stability that is crucial for attracting investment.
The declaration also aims to create at least 50,000 additional jobs by the private sector in the areas related to agriculture, energy and tourism by 2015 and gather capital for large scale projects in agriculture, energy and tourism by identifying and working with local and global investors to execute at least four different large scale projects in each sector.
In order to accelerate the process of reforms, the government and the private sector will work to table draft legislations related to the economy including Energy, Agriculture and Tourism at the legislature and work on getting them passed with required adjustments and updates, as per the declaration.
The declaration will also work on adopting the Energy Development Strategy, Tourism Development Strategy and Agriculture Development Strategy within the next six months with appropriate action plans for respective stakeholder agencies.
Similarly, declaration also aims to create a high level mechanism including members from the civil service and the private sector to identify regulatory burdens and propose solutions to move up 10 places in the ‘Doing Business Rank’ by 2016.
Under the agriculture reforms agenda, the declaration has given high priority to review of programmes, policies and regulatory framework in agricultural inputs and produce market.
In terms of using land effectively, priority has been given to projects that adopt a value chain approach and help reach out a wide network of beneficiaries in the form of small farmers.
In order to encourage innovation in energy supply and increase in private sector participation in this sector, the declaration has announced to set up an independent power trading company.
“The independent power trading company will provide a platform for trading energy between individual consumers and suppliers thereby reducing the fiscal burden of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).”
Similarly, it will work on introducing ‘open access’ on existing transmission lines to the extent possible with a ‘wheeling charge’ to use these facilities and additionally will also work on expanding transmission lines internally to help connect projects that are in the pipeline.
Under tourism reforms, the private sector will increase its investment in tourism infrastructures while the declaration has focused on up-gradation of Tribhuwan International Airport and construction of regional airports in Lumbini, Nijgadh and Pokhara.
These airports construction will be announced in the upcoming budget and private sector will be invited through open bids to participate in their construction and management.
The government and the private will also work on choosing five strategic locations to develop them as tourist destinations by the end of 2016, in order to increase tourism receipts from the current 36 USD per capita to 60 USD per capita.
Declaration has also ensured the inclusion of Lumbini, Janakpur, and three locations from far east and far west region in these five locations.