The Confederation of Nepalese Industries ( CNI ) announced on Sunday that it would be holding Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2014 in Kathmandu from November 11-12.
The CNI said that the aim of the conference, the first of its kind in Nepal, was to facilitate discourse on infrastructure development so that the country could accelerate its economic growth by fast-tracking domestic and international investments in airport, energy, tourism, agri business, mass transit, water management and urban development. “This summit will act as a catalyst towards a prosperous Nepal,” the CNI said in a press statement.
Indian Minister for Road, Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari is scheduled to attend the summit as the guest of honour and give a keynote speech.
More than 300 selectively invited experts from government ministries, the private sector, donor community and international investment community will attend the summit, said the CNI .
The summit has been planned in the context of the country’s poor infrastructure standing as a hindrance to higher economic growth. According to a recent World Bank study, Nepal has an infrastructure funding gap of $ 13-18 billion from 2011-2020.
According to the report entitled Reducing Poverty by Closing South Asia’s Infrastructure Gap, Nepal needs the most resources for electricity followed by the transportation sector. The country will require as much as $ 5.3-7 billion for electricity while the transport sector will require $ 3.7-5.5 billion.
Nepal has been facing longer power outages for the last few years, and the quality of roads has been very poor. During the summit which will be hosted in collaboration with Investment Board Nepal (IBN), stakeholders will hold discussions on tourism infrastructure, energy, transportation, urban infrastructure and agriculture. The participants will talk about the outlook and opportunities for investment in infrastructure in Nepal.
There will also be sharing of experiences from other countries. A framework for sustainable infrastructure development will be developed, and ways of improving the climate for investment will be put forth so that financing for infrastructure development can be attracted in the coming years, the CNI said.
It further said that the summit would provide a platform for investors who are looking for opportunities while reducing risks. “The event will help build the confidence of local investors while attracting foreign investors. In this way, it would go a long way in helping address the funding gap between Nepal’s demand for infrastructural services and their supply,” the CNI said.