Kathmandu: A grand investment summit held in Nepal drew investment commitment of a record USD 13.5 billion from six countries, with China pledging a whopping USD 8.3 billion and India lagging far behind with USD 317 million.
The fund that foreign investors are interested in investing into Nepal is more than half of the country's estimated gross domestic product of USD 21 billion recorded in the last fiscal year.
At the end of the two-day summit yesterday, six Chinese companies pledged USD 8.3 billion, or 61 per cent of the total investment commitment. The Chinese companies have expressed interest to invest in sectors ranging from hydropower, smart grid, airport and railways to roads, drinking water, healthcare and mineral.
The biggest investment pledge came from China Machinery Engineering Corporation, which is planning to spend over USD 3 billion to build a hydropower project, a hospital and metro lines in Kathmandu.
This was followed by commitment of USD 2.4 billion from Bangladesh's Himadri Foods (Pran-RFL Group) which eyes on investing in food and construction sectors.
Investors from Japan and United Kingdom have pledged USD 1 billion investment each while Sri Lankan and Indian companies have pledged to bring investment worth USD 500 million and USD 317 respectively, according to Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi.
"This is the beginning of glorious days for Nepal," said Joshi, who took initiative to host the Nepal Investment Summit 2017. This achievement, however, has added more responsibilities on the government's shoulders, he said.
"We will have to work hard to foster favourable investment climate and pave the way for every foreign investors to enter and exit the country without facing any difficulty," he pointed out.
Organised jointly by the Ministry of Industry, the Investment Board Nepal (IBN) and the National Planning Commission, the summit was attended by over 750 delegates, including over 280 foreign investors.
"We have already caught up with five to six investors who have made the pledges. And they are pretty serious about investing in Nepal," IBN CEO Maha Prasad Adhikari said.
"We will follow up on this issue in the coming days."
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was here on a two-day visit to attend the summit, said the step taken by the Nepal government to reach out to investors from across the world, and those in India, will bring positive results.