It’s Nepal’s turn to woo IT firms

By : |December 4, 2000 0

KATHMANDU: The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, known more for its tourism industry, aims to woo information technology (IT) companies with a host of incentives, officials said on Sunday. “Our goal is to create an atmosphere for the development of information technology and develop software for export,” Keshav Upadhyaya, an official at the Ministry of Science and Technology told Reuters.

Upadhyaya said private software promoters would be provided infrastructure facilities at an IT park and given incentives to promote the export of software. Nepal hopes to earn 10 billion Nepali rupees ($134.5 million) from software exports in five years from now, official said.

Currently, Nepal is estimated to be exporting software worth 100 million rupees mainly to the United States, Europe and Japan, the official said. Upadhyaya said the government would give duty concessions on imports of computers that currently have up to 21 per cent customs duty. A venture capital fund would also be created to give financial support to the exporters, he said.

Officials said the government would give extra grants to universities to produce IT graduates and introduce computer education in schools. The concept of electronic governance would be introduced and the use of Internet, now limited to the national capital and some business centres, would be expanded to rural areas.

(C) Reuters Limited 2000

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