With Nepal achieving durable peace and political stability and moving ahead steadily to achieve the overarching goal of economic prosperity, the Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) could be a major stakeholder contributing to the process of national development. As Nepal is aiming to become a middle-income nation by 2030, the skills, knowledge, expertise and experiences the NRNs have gained abroad could be very useful to the country. Besides transferring the know-how and technology, they can also play an important role in bringing in foreign direct investment (FDI) to the country. Nepal is now in dire need of a lot of foreign investment to build up necessary physical infrastructures and promote service as well as industrial sectors. Without attracting investments in these areas, it may not be possible for the government to deal with the burgeoning problem of unemployment. A large number of Nepali youths are forced to leave home in search of foreign employment every year. Although these youths have been contributing to the national economy by sending home the remittance earning, the nation has failed to mobilise such energetic human resources for the nation’s development.
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has called on the NRNs to invest in their motherland confidently with the country now having a more favourable investment environment. The President made the clarion call while inaugurating the 9th NRN Global Conference and NRNA International General Assembly in Kathmandu on Tuesday. She also asked them to extend their necessary support to the country in making the Visit Nepal Year 2020 a success. Through this national tourism campaign, the country aims to boost tourism industry that holds huge potential for generating foreign exchange and creating more employment opportunities. Because the NRNs have been living across the world, they could work as goodwill envoys of the country to promote a wide range of tourism resources the country possesses. The government and the private sector can also join hands with the NRNA for increasing Nepal’s export trade in different parts of the world. As suggested by the NRNA, the government needs to initiate the process of inking agreements such as Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the 33 countries where there are Nepal’s diplomatic missions. These instruments may be helpful for the country to attract potential investors from those friendly nations and export Nepali products there.
It may be recalled here that the NRNA had supported in rebuilding the 2015 earthquake-hit Laprak settlement in Gorkha district. In addition, the organisation had also set up the Nepal Policy Research Institute, launched a campaign 'Athiti Devo Bhawa' (respect guests as gods) with a view to supporting the VNY 2020 and completed the master plan for the beautification of Janaki Temple in Janakpurdham. The country has expected much more from the NRNs. They need to facilitate Nepal to contribute to enhancing national pride and prestige and promote Nepali culture internationally. This will help promote Nepal as a tourist and investment destination. The government should take the NRNs into confidence by addressing the genuine issues raised by them.