Nepal is now in dire need of increased foreign investments in varied sectors and transfer of modern technology for reviving the COVID-hit economy and accelerating the overall socio-economic development process. It is needless to say that the pandemic has dealt a serious blow on global economy and disrupted most development initiatives since the outbreak of this contagion in late December 2019. As a developing nation reeling from protracted political instability, Nepal, too, has suffered an unprecedented setback with the spread of COVID-19. The government had to step up tougher measures, including lockdowns, to deal with this pandemic. Those measures have left every sector affected. Despite such steps, about 12,000 Nepalis lost their lives to the global public health emergency while hundreds of thousands were infected with the fatal virus disease. As its COVID containment measure, the government allocated a major chunk of its budget for managing the contagion.
Though COVID-19 has now been subsiding gradually, the country may have to keep scrambling for some more years to be free from the economic and other fallouts of this pandemic. Encouraging the Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) to invest in a myriad of prospective sectors within the country could be instrumental in bringing the battered economy on track. They have shown their keen interest in promoting investments in their motherland in an organised manner since 2003 when they formed the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA). Apart from investment of NRNs’ capital, proper utilisation of their knowledge, skills and experiences could be an immense help for the nation to bring about the much-needed socio-economic transformation. With its good global network, the association has been trying its best to realise its objective of taking Nepal out of poverty and underdevelopment and helping the underprivileged and needy Nepalis.
It mobilised its members for managing necessary humanitarian support for the disaster-hit people following the devastating April 2015 earthquake. Their role was very vital in the time of COVID-19 as well. NRNA has implemented a number of big and small development projects like the Laprak Model Settlement Development Project, Ujyalo Nepal Foundation, Nepal Science Foundation, Blood Transfusion System, and Uterus Prolapse Project. The association has also been commended for its remarkable contributions to numerous sectors such as education, public health, human resource development, agriculture and tourism, women empowerment and skill development, welfare of deprived children and disabled. NRNs have played an important role in portraying Nepal as a potential investment destination internationally. They have already made lots of investments in hydropower, tourism, and different other sectors. The country has already started reaping benefits from these investments.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has assured that the government would create a more congenial environment for NRNs to invest within the country by formulating favourable policies and laws. Addressing the concluding ceremony of the 10th NRNA International General Assembly and NRN Global Conference on Sunday, Prime Minister Deuba called on NRNs to use the capital, technology, business knowledge, skills and abilities acquired abroad for the nation’s desired socio-economic transformation. He also expressed his commitment to address and solve NRNs’ concerns. Issuing a 14-point declaration, the NRNA has vowed to mobilise their skills, capital and technology in the interest of Nepal and Nepalis so as to make its slogan “Once Nepali, Forever Nepali” meaningful.