Nepal has now met the technical criteria to graduate from UN-defined status of a Least Developed Country (LDC), and is expected to embark on this transition in 2021. By 2030, Nepal expects to meet almost all the SDGs, and also become a lower middle-income country with a respectable average per capita income. These targets and the Government’s slogan of “Prosperous Nepal – Happy Nepali” can, however, only be realised if the country invests adequately in infrastructure, and sets in motion a process of capital formation and economic growth that is broadbased, job- creating, and sustained.
In recent years, public funding of capital projects has increased, but huge gaps remain, of between US$77B and $136B until 2030, according to a recent CNI estimate, in just four priority sectors of energy, transport, urban development and water and sanitation. To fill this gap, there is a need to expedite Public Private Partnerships at home and attract investments from abroad. Currently available financial instruments and modalities for investment in infrastructure are not adequate. Therefore, working with thinktanks and the private sector, the government must facilitate and assist in the development of such instruments and facilities.
The third Nepal Infrastructure Summit, to be hosted by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) in 11-12 September 2019, will assemble over 500 participants. It will deliberate on issues that shape incentives for investment and enable the private sector to partner for sustainable prosperity. The Summit will focus on the global and regional megatrends, including climate change, and their relevance to the local context, issues surrounding infrastructure project delivery, financing modalities, and opportunities for cross-border economic cooperation and investments. This event will consolidate and build upon the achievements of the earlier two summits held in November 2014 and February 2017 to chart a new infrastructure agenda in the age of sustainable development