Nepali Economy – Challenges and Potential Speech by Ambassador Scott DeLisi
May 16, 2012
As prepared for delivery
Thank you Sujeev for that wonderful welcome! It is indeed a pleasure to join you today for the latest NefTalk. This series -- and the Nepal Economic Forum generally -- has played a valuable role in facilitating dialogue about the key economic issues facing Nepal. I am pleased to have the opportunity to add my voice to such an important conversation.
I am particularly honored to join my good friend Sujeev Shakya, Chairman of the Nepal Economic Forum. As a former Humphrey Fellow, Sujeev is a long-time friend of the U.S. Embassy’s. We often seek his views on economic issues, and he never fails to impress us with his thoughtful insights. His combination of passion and keen intellect is rare, and we greatly value his partnership and feel fortunate for his friendship.
But Sujeev is not only a friend and partner; he is also a leading member of a small club in Nepal – a group I call “Nepali-optimists” – those who see potential and opportunity in this amazing country. Sujeev’s book, Unleashing Nepal, lays out a compelling, hopeful vision for Nepal’s economic future that has been an inspiration to me. I like to think of myself as an honorary member of the “Nepali-optimists” club, and hope today’s remarks will help explain why, despite many undeniable challenges, I remain so upbeat about Nepal’s economic future.
My optimism comes not just from the heart – although I care deeply about this country – but also from my head, which tells me that this is an economy -- this is a country -- that is poised to take off over the next decade. I believe it is possible to grow this economy at 8-9% in the near future, and perhaps even double-digits. With the right policies and right leadership, the opportunities for growth are great.
Some may think I am naïve or over-simplifying the complexity of the problems facing Nepal. They point to the...