KATHMANDU, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — The Nepal Chapter of the Belt and Road International Trade and Investment Platform, a mutual exchange platform of global purchasers and suppliers, was launched here on Saturday.
It is the one of the private sector-led initiatives to promote the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road in Nepal with the Himalayan country already signing agreement with China to become a part of the Chinese initiative for global connectivity.
The Belt and Road initiative, proposed by China in 2013, brings together countries in Asia, Europe and even Africa via overland and maritime networks.
The international trade and investment platform was formed with a joint initiative of chamber of commerce, associations and authoritative organizations from all countries along the Belt and Road.
Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara inaugurated the platform, which aims to enhance economic connectivity between China and Nepal as well as other Asian countries.
Chairman of Nepal Chapter Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar said the Nepal-based platform would basically focus on promoting four sectors – tourism and culture, international trade, financing and large investment in Nepal under the Belt and Road.
“Being a part of business communities linked with B&R, we can enhance foreign direct investment in Nepal from other countries associated with B&R,” said Rajkarnikar, who is also former vice-president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the apex private sector body of Nepal.
He told Xinhua that they would also work for developing Nepal as a transit route between China and South Asia as the Himalayan country is located between China and India.
During the visit of former Nepalese Prime Minister Sharma Oli to China in March, the two countries agreed to synergize each other’s development planning, formulate appropriate bilateral cooperation programs and carry out major projects under the framework of the Belt and Road.