Nepal and China have agreed to prepare a joint project on infrastructure development of the Nepal-China Silk Road Economic Belt.
Foreign Ministerial meeting of the two countries held in Beijing on Wednesday made the agreement in principle to develop the infrastructures of the Economic Belt by using the $40 billion fund set up by China, according to Nepalese Ambassador to China Dr Mahesh Maskey reports My Republica online.
Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi had held bilateral meeting at Great Hall on Wednesday. The foreign ministerial meeting being held in the context of two countries celebrating 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations had prominently raised the issue of developing Silk Road Economic Belt.
China has been urging neighboring countries to be a part of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 20th Century Maritime Silk Route proposal forwarded by Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the meeting, China had proposed preparing joint project on infrastructure development of Nepal-China Silk Road Economic Belt. This includes development of rail network from Tibet to Kathmandu to Patna, India.
Pandey had thanked Chinese Foreign Minister Wang for increasing Chinese assistance to Nepal from 150 million RMB to 800 million RMB. He also urged the Chinese side to help upgrade Kodari road, provide tax waiver to Nepali export items and establish branches of Chinese banks in Nepal.
Chinese side had asked Nepal to further relax visa provision to Chinese nationals in Nepal to promote Chinese tourists visiting Nepal and create conducive environment for early completion of China-funded projects, including Kathmandu Ring Road expansion project.
According to a press statement issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the two foreign ministers reviewed the existing bilateral relations and exchanged views on issues of mutual cooperation.
Exchange of high level visits is one of the main activities of the 60th anniversary celebration of establishment of Nepal-China diplomatic relations.
Pandey also inaugurated the first program organized by the embassy commemorating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Nepal and China on Wednesday.
Pandey flew to Beijing on March 16 after attending after attending the third United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Japan. He is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang, who visited Nepal in December last year.