by Zhou Shengping
KATHMANDU, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- On the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Nepali Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada has pledged that his country will further improve investment climate for Chinese investors.
The finance minister also hoped that Chinese investors will continue to show their excellence as they have shown all over the world.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua earlier in the week at his office in Singha Durbar, the minister spoke highly of the contribution made by Chinese business people, saying "they are doing well."
For them to do better, the minister said key reform measures must be taken to make investment climate more predictable since there is a stable government which enjoys strong majority, with no load shedding and improved labor relations.
"This government wants to make decision as fast as possible and we are revising all the laws related to investment."
There is a long list of old laws to be updated and new laws to be introduced to make Nepal, one of the least developed nations in the world, a more attractive destination for foreign investment, the minister said.
He said that the drafts of a number of laws had reached the cabinet for amendment such as the draft of Industrial Enterprises Act, the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act and the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.
The Nepali government is also working on introducing new laws on intellectual property rights and public procurement laws to make public-private partnership (PPP) projects more feasible, he said.
"We have started implementing the single window system where the investors will get all procedures such as registering the company and getting clearance from a number of government agencies..."
The Nepali government is also working to simplify the procedures for foreign investors to acquire land to develop projects, he said.
In the interview, Khatiwada also talked about the concerns of foreign investors over the federal governance system implemented in the country after the elections in 2017.
"The investors are concerned about the role of the central, provincial and local governments to facilitate the execution of the projects. We are defining the role of all three tiers of the governments in the Industrial Enterprises Act which is being amended."
On more fruitful Nepal-China economic relations, the minister stressed the need of having better connectivity between the two countries by reopening up the trade route of Tatopani-Khasa transit point and improving facility at Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border crossing, which is an international crossing point.
He also reiterated the importance of the presence of Chinese banks or financial institutions here to protect investment, finance trade and facilitate tourists.
"For the Chinese banks, Nepal may be a small market but their branches here could work as windows for the entire South Asia."