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Nepal seeks to draw 10-bln-USD investments in 5 years

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KATHMANDU, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — The Investment Board Nepal (IBN), a high-level government body formed to facilitate large-scale investments, on Wednesday unveiled a strategic plan aiming to attract investments of 10 billion U.S. dollars in the next five years.

Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is the board’s chairperson, rolled out the “Business Plan 2021-2025” on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.

“The IBN aims at attracting projects worth 10 billion U.S. dollars in the next five years as per the plan,” the agency said in a press statement.

Under the five-year business plan, efforts would be made to create jobs for at least 100,000 people through the implementation of investment proposals.

Addressing the anniversary ceremony, Deuba said his government is committed to creating a conducive environment for private sector investment through necessary legal and policy reforms.

He acknowledged, however, that attracting large-scale investments in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging. “The COVID-19 has led nations to lean toward inward investments, so attracting investments is likely to be more challenging,” he said.

According to Deuba, Nepal faces an annual fiscal gap of 6 billion U.S. dollars in its effort to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030. “The IBN has an important role to play in mobilizing private sector investments, including FDI (foreign direct investment), to fulfill this gap,” he said.

On the occasion, Nepali Finance Minister Janardan Sharma also said that domestic resources are not adequate to take the country toward strong economic growth.

“We want to bring foreign investments and encourage domestic private sector too,” he said. “But we have to approve the investment proposals in a timely manner so that the investors could implement the projects at a cost as low as possible.”

According to the minister, who is vice chairperson of the IBN, the board has approved investments worth 833 billion Nepali rupees (7.07 billion U.S. dollars) for 27 projects over the past decade. Enditem