January 12: Stakeholders of the private sector of Nepal including the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) on Monday issued a joint statement saying that their attention has been drawn to the government’s decision published on Nepal Gazette on January 4 to allow foreign investment in agriculture sector of Nepal.
The joint statement says that entrepreneurs associated with them have been protesting against the government’s decision because it contradicts the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act introduced in 2075, which completely bans foreign investment in agriculture sector of Nepal.
The statement noted that there are questions regarding whether foreign investment should be allowed in agriculture sector which is directly linked with people’s livelihood or should we accept it in order to increase productivity and to reduce trade deficit.
In this context, FNCCI, CNI and NCC held discussions with stakeholders and decided to make certain recommendations to the government.
The statement says foreign investment is necessary for the country and therefore suggested the government to fulfill commitments made in the past. In this regard, they suggested the government to discuss issues related to policies and laws as well as work procedure and amendment of laws with the private sector.
Stakeholders are of the view that the government must take a decision to allow foreign investment in agriculture sector depending on the technology transfer, its use, export condition of Nepal among others. They suggested that government must allow foreign investment only if the technology transfer is of high quality and if they ensure the use of locally produced raw materials and also if there is high possibility of exporting the products.