KATHMANDU, June 30 (Xinhua) -- After Nepal opened door for foreign investors to establish Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a growing number of Chinese investors have shown interest in setting up such areas in the Himalayan country, a senior government official said.
Nepal's SEZ Act introduced in August 2016 has opened the door for foreign direct investment for the development of SEZ in the country with the provision that such zones could be established under public-private partnership as well as sole investment of private sector only.
The Nepali government is considering allowing foreign investors to establish SEZs under joint venture arrangement.
"Four Chinese groups of investors have approached us so far regarding the establishment of SEZ in northern bordering districts," Chandika Prasad Bhatta, executive director of SEZ Development Committee, a government office overseeing the SEZ affairs, told Xinhua on Friday.
A year ago, Ping An Insurance Group of China in partnership with Lhasa SEZ had sought permission to conduct feasibility study of potential areas where a SEZ could be established and run.
"Three more Chinese groups have approached us in the last few weeks," said Bhatta, declining to name them because formal proposals are yet to be submitted.
"They have shown interest in developing SEZ particularly in Nuwakot, a district in central Nepal which borders China."
Nepal and China had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop cross border SEZs last month.
Nepal has planned to develop SEZs in 17 locations. Nepal specifically aims to attract export industries inside SEZs and more foreign investment.