World Bank to give Nepal Rs 52.7 bn in loans to support its trade growth and digital transformation

PTI | Kathmandu | Updated: 18-09-2022 19:54 IST | Created: 18-09-2022 19:53 IST
World Bank to give Nepal Rs 52.7 bn in loans to support its trade growth and digital transformation
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The World Bank said on Sunday it will provide concessional loans worth over Rs 52 billion (USD 411 million) to Nepal to help unlock the Himalayan nation's economic potential through better connectivity and enhance its access to regional markets.

The Nepal government and the World Bank signed concessional financing agreements for Rs 34.96 billion (USD 277 million) for Accelerating Nepal's Regional Transport and Trade Connectivity (ACCESS) project and Rs 17.79 billion (USD 140 million) for the Digital Nepal Acceleration (DNA) project, according to a statement issued by the World Bank Nepal.

The agreements were inked by Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Pushkar on behalf of the Nepal government and Faris Hadad-Zervous, World Bank Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, in the presence of Finance Minister Janardan Sharma and World Bank Vice President for South Asia Martin Raiser, it said.

''The projects will help unlock Nepal's economic potential through better connectivity and trade, enhanced digital engagement among people and businesses, and access to regional markets to support the socio-economic development in an inclusive manner,'' said Pushkar.

Under the ACCESS project, the 69-kilometer two-lane section of the Butwal-Gorusinghe-Chandrauta road along the East-West highway will be upgraded to a climate-resilient four-lane highway.

''With a focus on ensuring better road safety, the project is expected to reduce travel time by 30 per cent, thus providing better access to India's western seaports,'' the statement said.

The project will construct at least three market areas with required internet and trade information facilities along the highway to help enhance economic opportunities, especially for women entrepreneurs and traders.

The DNA project supports the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework, the country's digital economy strategy that was announced by the government in 2019.

The project will mobilise private capital to increase access to broadband services in rural areas, benefitting people and businesses that are currently not connected to high-quality and affordable internet connectivity.

It will also support and secure the delivery of digital government services through improvements in Nepal's public data infrastructure and cybersecurity capabilities, increasing access to digital services by women, ethnic and social minorities, and persons with disabilities.

"The World Bank is committed to supporting regional integration and digital transformation in Nepal to ensure the country's trade growth, long-term sustainability, and resilience of investments, and enable an innovative digital economy," said Hadad-Zervos.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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