German ambassador to Nepal Frank Meyke asked the government to lower the threshold for foreign investment.

Addressing the 20th and 21st annual general meeting of Nepal German Chamber of Commerce and Industry here today, Meyke stressed the need to introduce one window service policy for attractive, employment-friendly small investment projects. “We advocate for regulations which promote private development initiatives and joint development projects of German and Nepali NGOs,” her said, adding that the whole European Union and many other international development partners are also advocating regulations that encourage foreign direct investment (FDI).

The envoy’s statement comes at a time when Industry Ministry is preparing Foreign Investment Policy that has set a threshold of $2 million for foreign investment in agriculture sector, $10 million for infrastructure projects and a minimum of 30 MW project in the hydropower sector.

“I would like to reiterate the importance of encouraging small investment, too, and of judging such investment projects on their individual merits,” he said, adding that small investment projects should accordingly be attracted by sufficiently low thresholds and a one window policy.

A factor deterring foreign investment and seriously impeding economic progress is the lack of skilled labour, well qualified craftsmen, technicians and the lack of sufficient vocational training facilities in Nepal, he said, adding that solid vocational training would provide many young Nepalis with skills and secure employment, at home or abroad, with decent wages and working conditions, and it would provide Nepali companies and foreign investors with well qualified, skilled employees who are so very much in demand presently.

Two weeks from now on 26 May, ‘Nepal Vocational Academy’ in Panauti will be officially inaugurated and last Friday the foundation stone was laid in Bhaktapur for another vocational academy, he informed.

NGCCI is one of the largest bilateral chambers of Nepal since last 25 years

Currently, more than 130 private German initiatives are active in Nepal in a wide range of development cooperation activities.

He also said that the recent election of Constituent Assembly election and formation of majority government has sent positive political signals and increased confidence of potential investors from Germany and the whole European Union. “It signals for democratic stability as the foundation for economic prosperity,” he said, adding that NGCCI, as part of the private sector, will certainly continue to publicly and effectively be making this case.

He also stressed on strong cooperation of NGCCI with German Development Cooperation – GIZ – and KfW German Development Bank would be useful, for ‘Sustainable Economic Development and Trade’ as one of the focal areas of German-Nepal development cooperation.

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