KATHMANDU, July 30 (Xinhua) -- China secured top spot in pledging foreign direct investment (FDI) to Nepal in the last fiscal year 2016-17 that ended in mid-July, Nepal's Department of Industry (DoI) said.
China has been topping in investment commitment to Nepal in the last few years, according to the DoI data.
China pledged 8.35 billion Nepali rupees (81 million U.S. dollars) followed by India with 1.99 billion Nepali rupees and South Korea in pledging 1.88 billion Nepali rupees.
Chinese investors pledged more than half of the total FDI commitments Nepal received during the year as the Himalayan country received FDI commitments of 15 billion Nepali rupees.
Nepali industrialists said that the increased Chinese investment in Nepal should not be taken as a surprise given that China has been investing heavily across the world.
"Chinese investors are seeing a lot of investment opportunities in Nepal and they are coming here," Bhola Nath Pathak, project coordinator of Hongshi Shivam Cement, a Nepal-China joint venture industry, told Xinhua on Sunday.
During the Nepal Investment Summit organized by Nepal government on March 2-3 in Kathmandu, Chinese investors pledged the highest amount compared to investors from other countries. Chinese delegation committed FDI of 8.2 billion U.S. dollars against total investment pledge of 13.52 billion U.S. dollar from seven countries.
Entrepreneurs said that the realization of pledged FDI commitments has remained sluggish.
"The investors still have to encounter many bureaucratic hurdles," Pashupati Murarka, former president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) told Xinhua, adding that "the government should clear the bureaucratic hurdles quickly for those investors who have received the license to develop the industry."
Nepali government officials said that they are making efforts to ease investors in Nepal.
"We initiated the process of legal and institutional reforms and simplified procedures for registering industries," Shankar Aryal, director general of DoI, told Xinhua.
Nepal has introduced new Industrial Enterprises Act, Special Economic Zone Act and new Foreign Investment Policy lately offering more facilities to investors and easing the process of investing in Nepal.