Expanding diplomacy of Nepal


Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said Nepal is a virgin land for investors. Investment anywhere and everywhere is full of potentials with assured rate of return.

Addressing the Viet Nam-Nepal Business Forum on Friday in Honai, capital of Vietnam, Prime Minister Oli reminded the Vietnamese investors that Nepal’s advantage lies in our rich natural resources, abundance of labour forces and the location between two largest markets. Investment in Nepal will open avenues to the world’s two largest markets; India and China. The PM further made elaborate that there are opportunities for investment in multiple sectors –hydropower, agriculture, mineral resources, medicinal herbs, hospitality industry and financial markets in Nepal. As an LDC, Nepal has preferential access to some of the international markets.Moreover, PM Oli shared that Nepal successfully organised the Investment Summit recently. The Summit saw participation from over 40 countries including Viet Nam. During the Summit, investors pledged to finance 18 mega projects.

Vietnam and Cambodia present a text-book example for the study of the trajectory of devastation and resurgence of nations. These are the countries which fought a prolonged war with the United States lasting from 1962 to 1975. Eventually, they were able to defeat the USA restoring their sovereignty and independence, thus setting precedence that even small and weak countries can defeat a global power if they can unite the people to stand for a just cause.

The struggle of the Vietnamese and Cambodian people carries significance for us because the Nepali people were also fighting to break free from clutches of feudal monarchy when they were fighting tooth and nail for national independence. The indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian people served as an inspiration and motivation for the Nepali people to make sacrifice for the cause of economic, social and political transformation of the Nepali state.

Nepal has a lot of things to learn from Vietnam, especially in the field of agricultural modernisation, water resource management, tourism and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). These are the areas where Vietnam has presented itself as a showcase of unprecedented success.

Similarly, the second destination of Prime Minister Oli’s visit, Cambodia, also presents many insightful lessons on achieving economic growth throug.h prudent mobilisation of national re-sources, attracting FDI and collaborating with China within the framework of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Under BRI project, Cambodia has implemented a high speed railway project linking it with China. This has unleashed a multiple opportunities for previously a conflict ridden and poverty stricken country of Indochina changing itself into a bustling economy. Cambodia presents deep lessons on post conflict healing, ways of dealing with transitional justice, reconciling human rights issues and finding an independent path of national development.

After attaining political stability, Nepal is also on the path of economic prosperity. Like Vietnam and Cambodia, Nepal has been achieving high economic growth of above 6.6 per cent. However, unlike the Indochinese countries, whose growth is based on tourism, domestic productions and their export, Nepal’s growth is mainly sustained by remittances.

In the present context, Nepal has a lot of things to learn from the experiences of the peoples who are rising from their own ashes like a proverbial phoenix after leaving behind a history of the horrors of war, disastrous calamities, horrendous internal conflicts and international stigmatisation.

Apart from sharing many similarities, Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia are being held together by a common strand of Buddhist philosophy. Nepal is the place of origin of Buddhism and the above mentioned two societies have embraced Confucianism and Buddhism as spiritual sustenance to nourish their civilisation.

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