GoN commits to reforms for improving investment environment

Chief Rapporteur Arpita Nepal from Samriddhi at NES

Building on Samriddhi’s Nepal Economic Growth Agenda (NEGA) which was launched in 2012, Samriddhi worked with the Government of Nepal and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) during the last few months of 2013 and early 2014 to formulate reform agendas for improving Nepal’s business environment. As a knowledge partner in the first ever Nepal Economic Summit (NES), Samriddhi worked closely with GoN, FNCCI and stakeholders in preparing discussion papers on agriculture, energy, and tourism that outlined major challenges and made recommendations.

The three-day long Nepal Economic Summit held at Soaltee Crown Plaza, Soalteemode, Kathmandu from February 26-28, 2014 hosted experts from Nepal and abroad to identify possible avenues for policy reforms on the three mentioned sectors. At the end of the Summit, a 19-point reform agenda to promote economic growth and investments was declared and endorsed by the Government. These 19 point reform agendas included identifying solutions to regulatory barriers that will increase Nepal’s ranking 10 places in the World Banks’ Doing Business ranking by 2016. Another recommendation called for improving land management systems to allow contract farming and effective land utilization.Additionally, the reform agenda has taken a step towards liberalizing the energy sector and has encouraged greater private sector participation to deal with Nepal’s prevailing acute electricity shortages. It also calls for revising incentive schemes to increase private sector participation in biomass production. Finally, the agenda recommends selecting five strategic locations to invest in improving tourism products and services and also improving infrastructure and facilities to increase tourist flows and tourism receipts.