CNI’s origin was based on the widespread belief that the industrial community of Nepal urgently needed an effective representative body that would serve as a true platform to address many issues plaguing the Nepalese industries today. There was need for a modern professional body with well-trained and experienced professional staff that would be fully supported by the latest technological advancements. In addition, it had to be well connected with suitable regional and global organizations such as the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). This body would thus be capable of not only providing useful policy inputs to the government but also ensuring the implementation of the same.
This organization would focus only on the larger businesses which are the substantial sectoral leaders of today’s economy. These would include businesses from all sectors (with local or foreign investments) and would be all-encompassing in terms of geography as well as the nature of the business, be it manufacturing, tourism, financial services, exports or infrastructure. After much speculation in the country’s business community, the apex body of Nepalese industrialists, the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), was established by the captains of Nepal’s Industrial and corporate sector on April 17, 2002.
Since its establishment, CNI has been raising issues like the persistent economic situation imbroglio, need for reforms in financial sector, strengthening of private sector's capabilities, the streamlining of private sector's initiation on development agenda, double digit growth issues and industrialization based on trade competitiveness. It is an organization that works in coordination with other organizations and is increasingly becoming involved in areas where the existing system has failed to deliver. The organization is working along the lines of several organizations in various developing countries such as India, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. and hopes to hire expertise as well as bilateral support in development of the Confederation, the theme of which is, “Talking Business, Talking Change”.