The government is preparing to draft and amend around half a dozen laws and policies to facilitate foreign investment in Nepal, with greater incentives for investors ahead of Nepal Investment Year-- a two-year campaign that starts in 2012.
According to Friday's Republica, the Ministry of Industry (MoI)- - the focal ministry for the campaign- has initiated the drafting of new laws and amending some existing laws and policies, and that is expected to encourage foreign investment, which has been slack for the last few years.
The government has announced that it is to observe Nepal Investment Year in 2012 and 2013 to revive industrial growth by inviting more foreign direct investment (FDI).
Shankar Koirala, secretary at the Ministry of Industry (MoI), was quoted by the daily as saying the government is to introduce a Nepal Standards Act and an Accreditation Board Act for the first time. Similarly, the MoI is doing homework to introduce an Industrial Enterprises Promotion Policy and is amending the existing Industrial Enterprises Promotion Act.
"We are also amending the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act 1992 to encourage foreign investment in Nepal by ensuring the protection of investment and facilitating business for foreign investors with necessary incentives," Koirala told Republica.
The government is likewise introducing a new Industrial Property Rights Policy and a related act that would protect the patents, designs and trademarks of industrial enterprises.
In an effort to boost industrial growth by providing facilities to entrepreneurs inside industrial estates, the government has already drafted a Special Economic Zone Bill, which is now waiting the endorsement of parliament.
MoI has also initiated the process of organizing the Nepal Investment Forum-- a conference of foreign investors from different countries-- to discuss the potential areas of investment in Nepal.
Some 50 potential investment projects will be identified during the proposed forum and foreign investors will be urged to put money into those sectors.