It is a great honor for me to participate in the inauguration of the Gautam Buddha International Airport by the Prime Minister.
On behalf of the Asian Development Bank, I would like to congratulate the Government of Nepal for the completion of this project and its opening on the auspicious day of Buddha Purnima.
The opening of the airport is a milestone in Nepal’s aviation and tourism sectors. I would also like to offer my sincere appreciation and congratulations toCivil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the project team, contractors and consultants in successfully completing the project under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. I would especially like to acknowledge Minister Ale who has worked relentlessly to make this day a reality.
We are very happy to see that with the persistent efforts of all stakeholders, this critical infrastructure project is completed and now set for operation despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and that in itself is something to be proud of.
Direct air connections will help bring in more visitors to Lumbini and surrounding areas and connect Lumbini to Buddhist circuitin South Asia as well as rest of the world. On a broader context, the airport will form a cornerstone of the country’s overall development by expanding economic activities across countless sectors: tourism, hospitality, transport, trade, to name but a few, generating local employment opportunities, and improving international air transport access to migrant workers and people living in the nearby provinces.
ADB, as Nepal’s long-standing development partner, is proud to have supported the Government of Nepal in this national pride project.
ADB is committed to continue supporting Nepal in its green, resilient, and inclusive recovery from the pandemic to achieve high and sustainable economic growth, improve the lives of Nepali people and build resilience to climate change impact.
Once again, my heartiest congratulations to the Government of Nepal and everyone involved in the successful opening of the airport.
And thank you to the organizers for your kind invitation to this historic event this morning and for your gracious hospitality.
Arnaud Cauchois is the Country Director of Asian Development Bank’s Residence Mission In Kathmandu. Excerpts of the remarks delivered at the Inauguration of Gautam Buddha International Airport in Bhairawa.