A new transnational railway line for cargo linking Haidong, Qinghai province, Shigatse, Tibet autonomous region, and Kathmandu, Nepal, opened recently. [Photo provided to Chinadaily.com.cn]
KATHMANDU－Nepali government data suggest Chinese investors committed more direct investment in Nepal during the first half of the local fiscal year to July 15 than the entire previous fiscal year (July 16,2020 to July 15, 2021).
Chinese investors committed 23.37 billion Nepali rupees ($195.74 million) in foreign direct investment in Nepal during the first six months of the 2021-22 fiscal year, versus 22.5 billion rupees pledged for the 2020-21 fiscal year, data from Nepal's Department of Industry showed.
During the first half of 2020-21, Chinese investors pledged direct investment in Nepal worth 18.11 billion rupees.
"The surge in pledged Chinese investment even in the middle of the pandemic shows that Chinese investors are keen to inject their capital in Nepal," said Ramchandra Tiwari, director general of the department.
"These pledged investments took place when the COVID-19 cases were on a downtrend in the first six months. But we're concerned about the potential impact of rising coronavirus cases in the last two weeks," said the official.
On Wednesday, Nepal reported 11,352 new infections, a record high since May last year.
The committed investments by Chinese investors accounted for 76.47 percent of the total FDI in Nepal during the first half of 2021-22, continuing a trend in the past years, according to the Department of Industry.
During the first six months of 2021-22, some 107 enterprises with Chinese investments were registered at the department, covering hotels and restaurants, electronic equipment maintenance and repairs, international cargo handling, mask manufacturing, software development, slaughterhouses, packaged drinking water, ready-made garments, electric vehicles assembly, furniture and copper mining, among others.
Chinese investors pledged 11.31 billion rupees to Nepal's services sector, and 9.2 billion rupees to tourism.
"The government has to show its seriousness in attracting FDI and ease the procedure for foreign investors to enter Nepal," said Satish More, former president of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries.