FNCCI president highlights thriving Nepal-China economic ties at Nepal-China Business Summit

Beijing, China: The President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Chandra Dhakal, delivered a significant address at the Nepal-China Business Summit held in Beijing during the official visit of Nepal’s Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, to China.

In a gathering attended by dignitaries, including Prime Minister Prachanda, the Chinese Commerce Minister, and esteemed ambassadors from both nations, Dhakal expressed his gratitude to the governments of China and Nepal, as well as the embassies of both countries, for their support in organizing this crucial event.

Dhakal also extended his sincere thanks to CCPIT for their longstanding partnership with FNCCI and their role in organizing this event.

The following is Dhakal’s speech exactly as delivered: 

“I am deeply honored to be here and share a few words at this significant event.
On behalf of FNCCI, the apex body of Nepal’s private sector, and the entire business delegation, I extend my warmest greetings to you all.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the governments of China and Nepal and the embassies of both countries for their support in organizing this event.

I also extend my sincere thanks to CCPIT for their longstanding partnership with FNCCI and their role in organizing this event.

I would like to thank the Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Hon’ble Commerce Minister of China, and the Ministers of the Government of Nepal for gracing this occasion with your presence. Your participation is a testament to the strong friendship and economic cooperation between Nepal and China.

Nepal and China have shared a close neighbors for centuries, and in recent years, our economic ties have grown significantly. China has become one of Nepal’s largest sources of foreign direct investment (FDI).

The Nepal-China Business Summit serves as a timely platform for discussing ways to further strengthen our economic cooperation. This summit brings together business leaders from both countries to explore opportunities for investment, trade, and technology transfer, and I am confident that it will lead to concrete outcomes that will benefit both Nepal and China.

The government, led by the Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister, is actively working to revitalize the economy by creating a more conducive business environment. Our external sector, including foreign exchange reserves and balance of payments, is quite comfortable. Our foreign exchange reserves are sufficient to cover prospective merchandise and service imports for 12 months.

While Nepal may seem small when compared to our larger neighbors, globally, we are the 49th largest country in terms of population.

Over the past 25 years, the percentage of people living below the poverty line has decreased from 38% to 17%, demonstrating an increase in the purchasing power of our people and highlighting the potential for trade and investment.

Nepal enjoys non-reciprocal and exclusive treaties with India, providing duty-free access to Nepalese products in India. Similarly, Nepalese products have duty-free access to China, as well as to the EU, US, Canada, Australia, and other developed countries. This opens up opportunities for investment and production in Nepal with the potential for global exports.

China is Nepal’s second-largest trading partner. While we import 16% of our total goods from China, our exports to China remain modest.

However, Nepal has proven to be a trusted destination for Chinese investment, with Chinese investment accounting for over 35% of the total approved foreign direct investments.

Multinational companies operating in Nepal have enjoyed a favorable rate of return on their investments.
Nepal is committed to further opening up to foreign investment, technology transfer, public-private partnerships, and investment-related policies to attract both global and regional FDIs. We anticipate a boost in FDI inflows from China, maintaining China as the largest source of FDI for Nepal.

FNCCI has established an FDI help desk to provide one-window facilitation support to foreign investors. We plan to expand this service to further support potential investors and existing companies.

Nepal boasts a demographic dividend with a vibrant and hardworking young population, with a median age of 24. Additionally, Nepal is rich in water resources, with around 90% of our hydropower potential untapped.

I invite the business community to invest in Nepal’s hydropower sector, both for domestic consumption and export to neighboring countries including China.

Beside this, the popularity of Chinese electric vehicles in Nepal highlights the need for expanded hydropower capacity to support EV charging infrastructure. This offers a significant opportunity for Chinese private sector investment in Nepal’s hydropower development.

Nepal’s hospitality industry is ready to welcome Chinese tourists, with numerous standard hotels catering to their needs. This year has seen significant progress in tourist infrastructure, with two new international airports.”

 

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