President blames political stalemate for gloomy economic outlook
CHITWAN, Jan 9: Chitwan Festival, one of the country´s largest fairs, kicked off on Wednesday with objectives of attracting investment in mid-Nepal and promoting local products.
President Dr Ram Baran Yadav inaugurated the 10-day festival, which is being organized on the bank of Narayani River in Narayanghat.
Prior to the inauguration of the event, processions were held by different indigenous communities, including Tharu, Tamang, Gurung, Magar, Bote, Kumal and Darai. Different educational institutions, professional organizations, business associations, among others, also participated in the rally displaying placards and banners.
Inaugurating the festival, President Yadav said events like Chitwan Festival demonstrate that people are in favor of development despite political instability in the country.
“People, who are mum about inability of political parties to reach a national consensus, are instead displaying their commitment for national development by organizing such mega events,” said Yadav.
Yadav also urged political parties to learn from Chitwan Festival, which is being organized at a time when development and economic activities have come to a standstill in the country.
Blaming deepening political crisis for Nepal´s economic backwardness, he said: “Though our neighbors - China and India - are willing to support us in our economic development endeavor, we have not been able to reap the benefit due to lingering political transition in our country.”
Jeeba Lamichhane, president of Non-Resident Nepalis Association, said Nepali diaspora were seeking for opportunities to invest in Nepal.
Suraj Vaidya, president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, urged the government to support the initiative taken by the private sector to boost economic activities despite gloomy economic outlook and political wrangling in the country.
He also appreciated the initiative taken by Chitwan to promote investment in mid-Nepal.
Dr Til Chandra Bhattarai, president of the Chitwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the main organizer of the event, informed that a total of 40 projects in mid-Nepal, including 22 in Chitwan, have been identified as potential areas for investment .
According to Bhattarai, who is also convener of the festival, different workshops involving international investors and experts, will be organized for three days during the fair to sensitize investment opportunities in hydropower, fast-track and other big projects in mid-Nepal.
A total of 472 stalls have been set up to showcase local goods and services at the event, which is expected to draw around 450,000 visitors. The festival will also feature cultural programs, food festival, sports competitions and other entertaining activities.