Nepal has geared up for graduating from a least developed country (LDC) to a developing status within some years. The government has come up with concrete plans to accomplish this goal. Being one of the 48 LDCs in the world, Nepal will have to increase gross national income per capita and the threshold for human asset index. The country is required to invest trillions of rupees in these sectors to meet the criteria set by the United Nations. Over the years, the government has accorded high priority to realise the goal of import substitution through increasing production of a myriad of goods and services. Realising the fact that boosting investment and technology transfer alone can help Nepal achieve the target of economic prosperity, the government has focussed on bringing in more foreign investments and modern technologies.
Even when the COVID-19 pandemic has had adverse impact on the economic and health sectors, the government has remained dedicated when it comes to developing the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in several potential parts of the country. Since the development of the industrial sector is the key to ensuring economic prosperity, the government is creating at least 130 industrial villages in different parts of the country within the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday laid the foundation stone of the much-awaited Nepal-China Friendship Industrial Park in Jhapa district. This is going to be the country's largest industrial estate. Located at Jharka of Kamal Municipality-6, the industrial park covers some 22 bighas of land. The park area is some eight kilometres south of the City of Damak.
The government has acquired the land for park for 40 years. The locals have so far received about Rs. 1.36 billion in land compensation. The land has been leased by the government for forty years. The industrial estate management aims to set up more than two dozen multinational industries in the initial phase of two years. With the development of this estate, the government aims to decrease import and increase export considerably. The park will connect Damak Municipality and Gauradaha Municipality of the district. The government had decided to establish this park some four years back. To materialise this mega project, the Investment Board of Nepal had endorsed Rs. 74 billion investment from China. Two Chinese companies -- Lhasa Economic and Technical Development and Jon Zingping Creation Construction Company-- are going to invest in the construction of the park.
Addressing the foundation stone-laying ceremony, Prime Minister Oli termed the park as a symbol of Nepal-China friendship. He also hoped that the industrial estate would help Nepal change her position from being an importer to an exporter in the global market. An estimated 40,000 Nepalis will be employed directly in the industrial park once it comes into operation fully. In the next five years, the model business park is going to hire about 100,000 people. The park will have industries manufacturing exportable products such as food items, garments, automobiles and electronic items. The initiation of this mega project has instilled a lot of hope and enthusiasm among the local people. The management team should leave no stone unturned to realise the dream of developing this park into a model high-tech industrial estate in South Asia.