Special Correspondent

`Government eyeing seven % economic growth per annum'

Environment for FDI to be made more conducive Cheap labour, educated technical workforce are incentives

NEW DELHI: Nepal has invited Indian businessmen to explore investment opportunities there for mutual benefit after assuring them that the era of conflicts and violence was over. It said the Government was committed to consolidating the reforms process.

"This is a new era after the establishment of the people's sovereignty in Nepal. Peace has now been restored after the end of a decade long conflict that had held back the country's socio-economic advancement," Nepal Finance Minister Ram S. Mahat said, addressing captains of Indian industry at a CII function here. Besides bringing peace, one of the major objectives of the Government was to restore economic growth and reduce poverty, Mr. Mahat said.

Higher rates of economic growth, among other things, depend on increased levels of investment. "It is in this context that our attention is now focussed on increased investment, public and private, domestic and foreign," he said. Referring to the fact that India faced higher labour and operating costs of production, Mr. Mahat said cheap and abundant labour, educated technical workforce and other less expensive inputs provide investors incentives for producing intermediate products for Indian companies in Nepal.