Stakeholder Consultation for Business Registration and FDI Approval

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Daayitwa on November 23, 2016, organized a Stakeholder Consultation on Procedural Simplification of Business Registration and FDI Approval at Hotel Himalaya. During the consultation, Daayitwa leveraged its 3-month research to deliberate on the challenges in domestic business registration and FDI approval with the focus on procedural simplification and to subsequently recommend a roadmap to the Government of Nepal.

The consultation report of Daayitwa on “Simplifying Procedures for Business Registration and FDI Approval,” was prepared in collaboration with Pioneer Law Associates with the support from Economic Policy Incubator (EPI). EPI is one of the three components of  DFID-supported Accelerating Investment and Infrastructure in Nepal (AiiN) program and aims to strengthen Nepal’s economic policies and policy processes through flexible approaches, instruments, and entry points.

As part of the project, Daayitwa has organized several key stakeholder consultations in Bhairawa, Biratnagar, Birgunj and Kathmandu with relevant public agencies and private sector regarding challenges in domestic business registration and FDI approval. The Consultation Workshop was attended by senior officials of government agencies such as Ministry of Industry, Department of Industry, Office of the Company Registrar, Nepal Rastra Bank, Cottage and Small Industries Development Board, Inland Revenue Department, Department of Immigration, Department of Labour as well as other key stakeholders from private and social sectors.

Mr. Krishna Gyawali, former Secretary of the Government of Nepal and the study team leader, shared major findings of the research and also key issues from the draft roadmap. He also gave an example of digitizing works at the Office of Company Registrar and subsequent positive ranking of Nepal in the World Bank’s annual publication – Doing Business Report in the past. He stressed that suggested amendments in the roadmap could help Nepal do better in international rankings and build an impression among the foreign investors that Nepal is safe for their investments.

Mr. Shankar Prasad Koirala, Secretary, Ministry of Industry was the Chief Guest of the event. He briefly talked about the various strides in industrial policies in recent months, including the approval of the Industrial Enterprise Act 2016 as well as strides in the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act (FITTA) which is in the final steps of the amendment. Secretary Koirala praised Daayitwa’s research work and expressed his willingness to work on implementable recommendations.

Similarly, Dr. Shankar Sharma, former Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission, shared his experiences from Singapore and stressed the importance of simplifying business registration and FDI approval procedures on a national economy. Giving the example of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and its encouraging outputs, he also expressed that Nepal could also build a favorable investment climate by amending existing laws and policies, beginning with the policies that deal with the entry procedures of businesses and FDI.

Furthermore, Professor Prithivi Raj Ligal, former Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission, stressed the need to ease existing business entry procedures and mechanisms related to FDI approval in the country.