Kathmandu: In order to strengthen country’s economy, Nepal would seek huge investments from the countries like India, China and the US said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Friday. Nepal has to deal with the Maoist insurgency which adversely affected the country’s economy. The new Constitution has to be implemented in the country by May 27 deadline.

"The army integration, the key element of the peace process, will be completed within a month and the Constitution would be drafted within the May 27 deadline," Bhattarai said, addressing the 46th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) here.

For attaining economic prosperity we need large scale investments not only from neighbouring India and China but also from the US and Japan, he said.

The government would focus its attention on expediting economic development for the next 5-6 years by creating new job opportunities so as to arrest the trend of a large number of youths going abroad to seek employment, Bhattarai said.

Every day around 1,000 Nepalese are leaving the country in search of job opportunities abroad. The number of people seeking foreign jobs has significantly increased due to the decade-long Maoist insurgency which stagnated economic activity in the country.

FNCCI President Suraj Vaidya said the share of manufacturing in the GDP has declined from around 9 percent to 6 percent in 2010 within a ten-year period.

Similarly, GDP growth rate has remained very low at 3.8 percent per annum and the export as percentage of total trade has gone down from 32 percent in 2000 to 14.1 percent in 2010, he said.

Vaidya asked the government to create conducive environment for constructing various hydropower projects, including Arun Third and Upper Karnali which are being developed by various Indian companies, so that some 4,000 MW of electricity could be generated and around USD 8.5 billion worth foreign direct investment attracted in the country in the next 6-7 years.

This would not only relieve Nepal from daily 10 to 12 hours of power cut but also create around 200,000 new job opportunities, he pointed out.

He also asked the government to expedite the peace process and complete the drafting of the Constitution so that political stability would be achieved in the country and economic activities revamped.

President of CII (India) B Mathuraman said that regional economic integration is necessary for the development of the countries in the SAARC region.

If India and Nepal can cooperate mainly in hydropower sector, it would bring prosperity and development to the people of both the countries, he pointed out.