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Nepal hosts investment summit to attract foreign money for hydropower projects

KATHMANDU (AP) – Nepal hosted an investment summit yesterday in hopes of attracting much-needed foreign investment, especially in developing hydropower projects to produce more electricity that it can sell to neighbouring countries.

Several foreign investors were attending the two-day meetings in the capital, Kathmandu, where Nepali officials urged investment in developing hydropower projects and in other areas like tourism and industry.

Nepal is home to eight of the tallest mountain peaks in the world and has several rivers flowing down from them, bringing huge hydropower potential.

“Our hydropower potential holds the promise of abundant renewable and clean energy supply,” Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, told the delegates.

However, he said, “only 3,200 megawatts have been harnessed so far and only about 5,568 megawatt large-scale projects are under construction or in the pipeline”.

“This explicitly shows the enormous opportunities to invest in the hydropower sector in Nepal,” Dahal said, adding that the existing and planned cross-border transmission line with India and China aids energy exchange within the region.

He said Nepal has signed agreements or memoranda of understanding with China, India and Bangladesh for power trade or cooperation.

Nepali officials are also hoping to attract more investment in the tourism sector in the Himalayan nation.

“This summit will provide a platform for networking opportunities among the policymakers, investors, experts and stakeholders to share ideas and views as well as encourage joint ventures in areas such as industry and infrastructure development,” said Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun.