US seems interested to closely work with Nepal-Finance Minister Pun

Kathmandu: Finance Minister Barshaman Pun who returned home from US visit today said the US government, private sector and development partners are interested to work with Nepal in a further close manner. Talking to journalists at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on Saturday, Finance Minister Pun who returned after attending the 2024 Spring Joint Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC said his visit was successful. He said the US government, private sector and development partners are looking forward to channelizing more support and investment in development projects with Nepal. "Overall, this visit has remained successful. Discussions were also held with US government officials and officials of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). They have expressed their willingness to work with Nepal government and to cooperate more closely than in the past," he said. There has been a lot of attraction among the industrialists and business persons to the invest ment summit to take place in Nepal. Finance Minister Pun shared that discussions have been held with private sector, including coca-cola, meta, disneyland and other companies. He also expressed the belief that the Millennium Challenge Nepal Account Development Committee (MCA-Nepal) has been constructing power transmission lines and road projects with the grant assistance of MCC. According to him, during the construction of the projects under MCA-Nepal, MCC grant assistance will be spent initially and the remaining works will be spent by Nepal itself. Finance Minister Pun left for the US on last Monday leading a four-member Nepali delegation. Finance Minister Pun participated in 19 formal and informal programmes during the visit. He attended meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as the ministerial meeting of the Group V-20 of countries threatened by the impact of climate change, sessions on clean energy transition in South Asia, as well as various high-level bilateral and multilateral meetings. Finance Minister Pun said serious discussions were held on mitigating the impact of climate change and compensation to be paid to low carbon emitting countries like Nepal. "Nepal has no contributions to carbon emissions and climate change, but the issue of Nepal getting compensation for the role of developed countries has been raised seriously. The agenda raised by Nepal during the COP-28 are still of high priority and were raised there emphatically," he said, adding, "In the discussions related to the energy sector of South Asia, Nepal is producing clean energy and there is a lot of potential for export of clean and green energy. Finance Minister Pun and top officials of the World Bank have reached an important agreement on the financial structure of the 1,063 MW Upper Arun Hydropower Project to be constructed in Sankhuwasabha. Finance Minister Pun said the World Bank has agreed in principle for a concessional loan of about $ 8.5 million for this project. Similarly, discussions we re held to invest in co-financing of the 635 MW Dudhkoshi Reservoir Hydropower Project, he added. In an interaction with the office-bearers of the US Chamber of Commerce, the Finance Minister said Nepal is an attractive destination for international investors and called for investment. Minister Pun had held separate meetings with the high-level officials and representatives of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, IMF, USAID, US International Development Finance Corporation, US Chamber of Commerce and Non-resident Nepali Association during his stay in America. Source: National News Agency RSS