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China pips India in Nepal projects

Call it absence of suitable climate or plain coincidence, but for the second consecutive year China has edged out India to top the list of joint venture (JV) projects registered in Nepal.

world Updated: Sep 20, 2010 01:41 IST
Utpal Parashar

Call it absence of suitable climate or plain coincidence, but for the second consecutive year China has edged out India to top the list of joint venture (JV) projects registered in Nepal.

Government figures show during 2009-10 Chinese investors registered 58 JV projects--nearly double the 27 registered by Indians. These projects cover a range of sectors from tourism and IT to education.

The Chinese projects are estimated to invest NR 731 million and generate employment for 2800 persons. The previous year Chinese investors promised NR 1.16 billion investment and 5,000 jobs.

In 2008-09 the Chinese figure was 71 (an increase of 373 per cent since 2007-08) to India’s 34. A year earlier Chinese investors registered 16 firms to 29 by Indians.

“In the past couple of years, China has left behind over three dozen countries investing in Nepal, including India,” Republica quoted Department of Industries Spokesperson Dhruba Raj Sharma.

However, India is still the top investor in Nepal with JVs in 2008-09 committing investments worth over NRs 4 billion and nearly double that figure (NRs 7.78 billion) last year.

Maoists targeting hydropower projects by Indian firms and the latest tussle between Dabur Nepal and Kantipur, Nepal’s biggest media group are indications that Indian JVs haven't had a smooth run in Nepal in recent years.

Former Indian ambassador to Nepal KV Rajan says Indian businesses are suffering in the Himalayan nation and recent rise in anti-India feelings will affect fresh investments from the southern neighbour.

The Chinese on the other hand have no such issues. Last week, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed a MoU with All China Federation of Industry and Commerce to further boost investments.