Chinese firms have pledged to invest $8.3 billion in different sectors during the two-day Nepal Investment Summit 2017 in Kathmandu, far higher than the Indian commitment of $317 million.
The investments pledged by Indian companies during the summit that concluded on Friday was below the figures for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan and the UK, officials said.
The investment by the Chinese firms reflected the economic muscle-flexing by China, which holds the top slot in total foreign direct investments in Nepal. China’s FDI commitment jumped 28% in the first half of the current fiscal year.
FDI commitments from mainland China swelled more than threefold to Nepalese Rs 3.48 billion during the period from mid-July to mid-January, according to the latest data from Nepal’s department of industry.
However, FDI commitments from India plunged 76% during the same period. India’s FDI pledges amounted to Nepalese Rs 439.65 million in the first half of the current fiscal, down from Rs 1.87 billion during the same period last year.
China fielded the largest delegation of 89 firms at the investment summit. Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, participated in the meeting and announced that Nepal will start getting loans for his institution in 2018.
During the summit, a total of $13.52 billion was pledged as foreign investments, according to an official statement.
India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley participated in the summit as a key note speaker and 21 Indian firms made commitments to invest in hydropower, the service sector and IT. Jaitley said more soft loans will be provided for new infrastructure projects and called for a better regulatory framework.
Bangladesh committed to invest $2.4 billion, Japan and the UK each pledged $1 billion and Sri Lanka $500 million.
Investment Board Nepal CEO Maha Prasad Adhikari said the government will work to creating a conducive environment and simplify the process for foreign investors.
The investment summit was held for the second time and attracted more than 1,000 domestic and foreign companies.