In a significant address at the “Nepal-China Business Summit” held in Beijing, Prime Minister Prachanda of Nepal emphasized the importance of strengthening economic ties between the two nations. The summit, organized in collaboration with the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), served as a platform to foster business collaboration and investment opportunities.
Addressing the distinguished audience, Prime Minister Prachanda expressed his gratitude to FNCCI and CCPIT for their partnership in organizing the event. He highlighted the critical role of the business community in driving economic growth and technological innovation in both Nepal and China.
The Prime Minister underscored Nepal’s potential as a land of untapped opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. With a youthful population and a median age of 24 years, Nepal is well-positioned for economic growth. Prachanda pointed to the country’s abundant water resources, hydropower generation capacity, thriving agriculture sector, rich forests, tourism industry, and growing ICT sector as attractive areas for investment.
He stressed the importance of building strong collaboration between the private sectors of Nepal and China to achieve sustained economic growth and mutual benefit. This was Prime Minister Prachanda’s third visit to China as Nepal’s leader, and he commended China’s remarkable development in various fields, including infrastructure, industrialization, human development, and poverty alleviation.
Prachanda congratulated China, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, for achieving its first centennial goal of lifting people out of poverty and expressed best wishes for the second centennial goal of making China a modern socialist country. He emphasized that it is natural for Nepal, as a close neighbor, to seek enhanced economic partnership with China, citing geographical proximity and shared interests as enabling factors.
The Prime Minister highlighted the historic and deep-rooted bilateral relations between Nepal and China, characterized by principles of peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation. He traced the history of Nepal-China friendship, dating back to the 5th century when Buddhist monks facilitated cultural exchanges.
In terms of trade, Prime Minister Prachanda acknowledged the steady growth in Nepal-China bilateral trade, with China being Nepal’s largest source of foreign direct investment and the second-largest trading partner. However, he expressed concern about the trade deficit and outlined efforts to address it by increasing Nepal’s exports to China, particularly in areas like tea, herbal medicine, agriculture, and more.
Nepal’s Prime Minister described Nepal as an attractive destination for foreign investments, with significant potential in hydropower, agriculture, tourism, and transportation sectors. He encouraged Chinese enterprises to invest in Nepal, highlighting the country’s strategic location between two of the world’s largest markets.
Prime Minister Prachanda noted that Nepal is set to graduate from its Least Developed Country status in 2026 and aims to become a middle-income country by 2030, requiring substantial investment in critical infrastructure and technology. He expressed hope that Chinese investment would fill these financial and technological gaps.
In light of global economic challenges, Prachanda called on business leaders to turn adversity into opportunities through innovation and cooperation. He stressed the need for enhanced economic engagement within the neighborhood for greater synergy and efficiency.
Nepal has introduced business-friendly policies and laws to attract investment, such as the Foreign Investment Policy, the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act, Public Private Partnership and Investment Act, and more. The country has also established a “one-stop service center” and the Investment Board of Nepal to facilitate investment processes.
The Prime Minister highlighted Nepal’s stable macroeconomic conditions, flexible labor laws, low corporate tax rates, and open sectors for foreign investment. He emphasized the importance of strengthening cross-border connectivity and working together under initiatives like the Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network and the Belt and Road Initiative.
Prime Minister Prachanda concluded by reiterating Nepal’s commitment to facilitating and protecting Chinese investors and entrepreneurs and invited Chinese friends to explore the opportunities Nepal has to offer. He emphasized the potential for mutual benefit through collaboration between the private sectors of both countries and expressed his determination to uplift the quality of life for the people of Nepal.
In closing, he thanked the organizers for convening the “Nepal-China Business Summit” and wished the event great success.
Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China His Excellency Mr. Wang Wentao,
Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade,
Chairman of the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries,
Leaders of the business community,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Namaskar!!!Good Afternoon!!! Ni Hao!!!
Thank you, FNCCI and CCPIT, for this excellent partnership in organizing “Nepal-China Business Summit” in collaboration with our Embassy here in Beijing.
I feel privileged to address this forum of prominent leaders of business fraternity from both of our countries. We consider you as the engine of growth, driver for technological innovation and change.
This event stands as an important occasion in our pursuit of enhanced economic partnership between Nepal and China. Engagement of this kind is certain to pave the way for stronger business-to-business relations and investment ties between our two countries.
I am here to convey the message that Nepal is a land of untapped opportunities where business can thrive, and entrepreneurs and investments are welcomed.
Among other things, our demographic dividend, with a majority of youthful citizens and a median age of 24 years, puts us in a great position to grow business.
Bountiful water resources, significant hydropower generation capacity, a thriving agricultural sector that can address our food security needs, rich forests with timber and non-timber products, a flourishing tourism industry, and a growing ICT sector are some of the attractive areas of investment which would generate high return to the investment.
This Summit should focus on building strong collaboration of private sectors of two countries to achieve high and sustained growth for the mutual benefit of our people.
This is my third visit to China as the Prime Minister of Nepal and 5th as the leader of Nepal. Every time I am in this great country, I feel amazed by the speed and scale of its development in many spheres. From infrastructure to industrialization, from human development to poverty alleviation, from education and health services to science and technology, the advancement China has made under the able stewardship of the Communist Party of China is rarely seen in the history of human civilization.
I wish to congratulate the Government and the people of China under the leadership of President Xi Jinping for successfully achieving the first centennial goal of lifting Chinese people from poverty line and convey my best wishes for the second centennial goal of making China a modern socialist country in all respects.
As a close neighbour, it is but natural for Nepal to desire for enhanced economic partnership with China for mutual benefits. There are so many enabling factors anchored in close affinity and geographical proximity of our two countries that need to be utilized to promote mutually beneficial cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Nepal and China are close friends and trusted partners. Our two countries enjoy close, deep-rooted and multifaceted bilateral relations, which are based on the principles of peaceful-coexistence, mutual understanding, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.
Our relations exemplify how two neighbors of different geographical size, populations and levels of development can be trusted friends and partners. These relations, guided by immense goodwill, mutual respect, shared aspiration and appreciation of each other’s concerns, have ever been growing on many fronts of mutual interest.
The history of Nepal-China friendship and fraternity is not confined to modern times. The recorded account of relations starts from the 5th century when Nepali monk Buddhabhadra travelled to China with the message of Buddhism while Chinese monks Huang Xing and Fa Xian travelled to Nepal and studied Buddhism. In the 7th century, Nepali Princess Bhrikuti was married with Tibetan King Songtan Gampo, and in the 13th century, Nepali famous artisan Araniko came to China and enriched Chinese architecture with the genius of arts, architecture and sculpture, as displayed in Nepali-styled pagoda temples.
The interactions then happened on multiple fronts. Traders and merchants from both sides traversed across the Himalayas selling goods and building bonds. With their indomitable spirit, these early travellers conquered the barriers of mountains and helped generate growth and prosperity.
Today, we are seeking to further build on the very economic linkages that our ancestors shaped up.
Nepal-China bilateral trade has continued to grow in a steady and consistent manner. China is the largest source of foreign direct investment and the second largest trading partner for Nepal.
However, the burgeoning trade deficit is a matter of serious concern for my country, which we seek to address. We are making continued efforts to facilitate trade and finds ways particularly to increase Nepal’s export to China. This can be done by enhancing our productive capacity, improving physical infrastructure and making quality certification mechanism more robust.
We have seen that the export of Nepali products such as tea, herbal medicine, citrus food, buffalo meat, coffee, ginger, yarn to China have great potential and should, therefore, be prioritized. We need to reduce technical barriers and ensure preferential treatment to these products.
The export of the first batch of haylage from Nepal to China in the recent past should make us confident that more such export is possible.
Nepal is an attractive destination for foreign investments, as it is endowed with enormous natural and human resources. It has the special advantage of strategic business location due to proximity to two of the world’s largest markets and fastest growing economies.
We have vast untapped potentials in hydropower, agriculture, tourism and transport sector.
For Chinese enterprises, in particular, Nepal remains a very attractive investment destination. There is a huge scope for boosting Chinese investment in Nepal in areas, such as: hydropower generation, infrastructure, tourism, SMEs and startup businesses, ICT, agriculture, including highland agriculture, herbal and pharmaceutical industries, e-commerce, new and renewable energy, and so on.
Nepal is all set to graduate from Least Developed Country status in 2026 and aspires to become a middle-income country by 2030. Graduation for us is an opportunity to upscale our productive capacity and undertake structural transformation, which requires significant amount of investment in critical infrastructure and cutting-edge technology. We count on Chinese investment in filling our financial and technological gaps.
Today, international business environment is facing range of challenges posed by economic downturn, geopolitical turmoil and shifting priorities of the nations. What we see around is decelerated growth, increased inflation, rising food and energy prices and on top of that, the sheer uncertainty of global market.
Crisis also brings opportunity. I believe that our business leaders are capable enough to turn this global downturn into opportunities by innovation and by doing things differently. We need to enhance economic engagements in neighborhood for greater synergy and efficiency.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With a view to creating an environment conducive to business and investment, Nepal has introduced various business-friendly policies and laws to tap the opportunities provided by a peaceful and stable political climate in the country.
We have introduced a forward-looking Foreign Investment Policy.
We have enacted the Foreign Investment and Technology transfer Act, 2019, Public Private Partnership and Investment Act, 2019, Industrial Enterprises Act 2019, Special Economic Zones Act, 2019 and many more investment-related legal instruments for facilitating and accelerating investments in Nepal.
Business environment in Nepal is improving as reflected in several reports.
We are actively pursuing the reform and strengthening of institutions. The “one stop service centre” has been established at the Department of Industries in order to facilitate the investors through simplified and streamlined processes. Similarly, the Investment Board of Nepal has been working actively to promote large scale foreign investment in prioritized sectors on a fast track basis.
We are committed to making further reforms in policies, regulations and procedures.
The macroeconomic conditions of our economy are relatively stable, and conducive to long-term investments and economic growth. The labour laws are flexible and supportive of security of industry as well as of economic growth and efficiency.
The Industrial Enterprises Act, the Company Act and tax laws and regulations have also been reviewed from time to time to foster business friendly environment. Almost all sectors except a few are open for foreign investment.
Foreign investment is treated at par with domestic industry. You may establish a new company with equity investment, invest as joint venture or through lease financing as well as by technology transfer agreements.
The energy supply situation has improved significantly. Now we are in a position to export surplus power. Roads, railways and aviation, industrial parks and other infrastructures are under expansion, which would contribute to efficiency and effectiveness of business.
We have the lowest corporate tax rate in our region. Special industries, enterprises operating roads, bridges, railways, hydropower, transmission lines, etc. under ‘Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT)’ basis are provided special incentive.
Over the years, our two countries have taken important initiatives to improve cross border connectivity by building more infrastructure and economic connection. Under the framework of Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network, we are working to develop cross border economic zones, road corridors and railway, transmission lines and air connection.
Nepal joined Belt and Road Initiative in 2017 and we are now working to finalize its implementation plan.
Just a few days back, Nepal successfully imported goods from third country through Chinese port, making it an important step in the implementation of Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement and its Protocol.
Chinese tourists are provided with free of charge visas to visit Nepal.
President XI and I have reached broad consensus on strengthening economic cooperation and partnership between our two countries. We will take further decision on promoting cross border connectivity during this visit.
We will continue to take further measures to reinforce economic engagement between the two countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before I conclude, let me reiterate our commitment, Nepal will do every possible effort to facilitate and protect Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the unique opportunity that Nepal has to offer and explore the benefit from the new avenues that have opened up in Nepal.
Dear Chinese friends, I am eager to welcome you in Nepal.
It is important to keep up the momentum of enhanced economic co-operation and engagements between our two countries.
Strong collaboration and exchnages between the private sectors of the two countries can meaningfully contribute to the further development of Nepal-China economic relationship for mutual benefit.
Being in possession of tremendous potentials, Nepal can no longer be a country of poverty and privation.
My government has been making all-out effort to achieve high yet sustained economic growth to bring qualitative change in people’s life.
Our people deserve better life. And we will deliver it.
Let us work together and prosper together.
Once again, I thank the organizers for convening such a meaningful event. I wish the Summit a great success.
I thank you all for your attention. Xie Xie!!