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Nepal to benefit from SAARC Development Fund

in Afghan Business

Nepal to benefit from SAARC Development Fund

SAARC Development Fund (SDF) has recently accorded in-principle approval to three important infrastructure projects in energy sector in Nepal.

These projects have cross border connectivity to neighboring SAARC Member States involving participation of Bangladesh and India. The cumulative loan commitment under the three projects would be USD 45 million. These are being extended under both sovereign and non-sovereign lending in Nepal.

Dr. Sunil Motiwal, SDF Chief Executive Officer expressed confidence that these projects would help SDF to achieve its development goals in Nepal and promote welfare and prosperity of the people in the SAARC region.

SDF is established by the Heads of the eight SAARC Member States in April 2010 as an umbrella financial institution for SAARC projects and program in the SAARC region. The fund works for promoting the welfare of the people of SAARC region, improving their quality of life, and accelerating economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in South Asia.

Dr. Motiwal informed that apart from these three in-principle approved projects; SDF is considering two additional infrastructure projects under active consideration to co-finance in Nepal with fund commitment of USD 30 million.

Further SDF is launching its Social Enterprise Development Program (SEDP) as part of its Social Window. The program will be implemented in all the SAARC Member States with the objective of identifying and building social enterprises by using a mix of grants and concessional returnable capital. The program is expected to be launched in first quarter of 2019 in Nepal. SDF also proposes to launch its MSME program in order to upgrade Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in the SAARC region by providing line of credit. SDF would create access to financial services which can in-turn boost job creation, raise income, reduce vulnerability and increase investments in human capital in SAARC Member states.

Dr. Motiwal informed that post development of a healthy credit portfolio; SDF shall raise fund from various IFIs, MDBs, and commercial Banks for on-lending to various projects and programs in the SAARC Member States as there is requirement of large quantum of fund to finance the infrastructure gap in the region.

Dr. Motiwal emphasized upon the fact that Nepal has long been in a situation of low investment and low growth. Despite this Government of Nepal has set ambitious development targets: to graduate from least developed country status by 2022, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and to emerge as an inclusive, equitable, and prosperous middle-income country by 2030 – SDF would like to partner with the Government of Nepal in achieving these objectives. The Fund is working tirelessly to promote regional cooperation and integration in the region.

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