Narrowing inequalities and ensuring stability could usher in new economic era for Nepal, says UNDP regional chief
KATHMANDU — Nepal could become an economic success story if it manages to consolidate its hard-won political reforms and stability and focus on equitable and inclusive growth, UNDP's regional chief for the Asia-Pacific region has told the country's leaders during a three-day visit.
Mr. Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for the Asia-Pacific urged Nepal's government to complete the important political transitions the country is in the midst of, and use the resulting stability as a springboard for economic growth.
On May 15, Mr. Xu jointly launched Nepal’s National Human Development Report 2014 with Vice Chair of National Planning Commission Dr. Govind Raj Pokhrel.
Speaking during the launch he called on Nepal to take advantage of its demographic dividend and create employment through modernization of the agriculture sector.
Among the major recommendations of the report is Nepal’s need for policies that will narrow inequalities across the country’s regions: a critical element of Nepal’s efforts to graduate from least developed to a developing country by 2022.
Mr Xu commended Nepal’s leaders for committing to graduate from the ranks of least developed countries by 2022, but said strong political commitment accompanied by measurable actions are needed to achieve these goals within the next eight years.
“It is a government prerogative to define the duration of each plan, but many countries have done 20/30 year master planning and this helped in expediting the development process,” Mr Xu said.
In his meeting with Prime Minister Mr. Sushil Koirala, Mr. Xu encouraged expediting the process of consolidating Nepal’s political and transitional gains.
During his visit, he also met with the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Mr. Subas Chandra Nembang, Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission Dr. Govind Raj Pokhrel, Chief Election Commissioner Mr. Neel Kantha Uprety, H.E. SAARC Secretary General Mr. Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Nepal based international development partners, members of UN Country Team and other senior government officials.