Nepal Foreign Affairs (Kathmandu, Dec. 28)—Visiting Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa has held a meeting with Executive vice Governor of China’s Sichuan Province Wang Ning in Chengdu on Monday.
Recalling his separate meetings with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, Foreign Minister Thapa expressed his happiness over excellent relations between the people and two countries for time immemorial.
According to a press release issued by Nepal Embassy in Beijing, Deputy Prime Minister Thapa sincerely acknowledged the immediate and spontaneous support from Sichuan Province in the rescue and relief operation in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in April 2015 and continued assistance in the post-quake reconstruction.
Minister Thapa expressed his confidence there will be an increased economic cooperation in the areas of trade, tourism and investment.
“As Nepal has entered the new ‘era of economic development and political stability’ and China has already become the economic superpower, it’s time for Nepal to benefit from the economic opportunities created in the neighbourhood,” the foreign minister observed.
The minister further added that an increased connectivity and opening up of new border points could prove meaningful for enhanced economic exchanges and cooperation between Nepal and China.
Thapa also requested the vice Governor to encourage Chinese investors from Sichuan to make investment in Nepal and invited more tourists to Nepal.
On the occasion, while citing the geographical proximity and cultural similarity between Nepal and China’s Sichuan, Executive vice-Governor Wang expressed willingness to work with Nepalese side in order to further enhance mutual exchanges and cooperation.
The vice Governor agreed that the increased connectivity would definitely help strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and Nepal and Sichuan Province as the people of Sichuan hold tremendous goodwill for Nepal and Nepalese people.
“The Vice Governor expressed his confidence that the investment and number of tourists from Sichuan will increase significantly in the days to come,” the embassy said in the press release. While assuring continuous cooperation in the post-quake reconstruction of Nepal the vice-governor requested the Government of Nepal to establish a Consulate General in Chengdu.
Currently, Nepal has an embassy in Beijing, Consulate Offices in Lhasa of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region and Special Administrative Region Hong Kong. Nepal has already asked China to set up Consulate Office in Guangzhou while China has made request to establish its Consulate Office in Nepal’s Pokhara City.
He also invited Nepal to participate in the western China Investment Expo to be held in October next year. Thapa assured the vice Governor of positive consideration in both requests. The Executive vice governor had hosted a dinner reception in honour of the visiting Deputy Prime Minister and his delegation this evening.
Earlier this morning, Prof. Lu Zhongshu, Vice President of Sichuan University accompanied by Prof. Li Tao, Director of South Asian Study Centre and Prof. Huang Zhangduo, Director of Nepal Centre of the University called on Minister Thapa in Chengdu.
The Vice President of the University underscored the need of enhanced connectivity in the field of trade, investment and tourism, infrastructure development, culture in order to further strengthen Nepal-China age old relations both at Government to Government and people to people level.
On the occasion, Thapa shared the view that the exchanges of scholars and academicians and holding of cross-cultural events will contribute to overall relations between the two countries.
The Deputy Prime Minister also observed that seismic sensitivity of Himalayan region and the common culture between Nepal and Sichuan provide for the wider exchanges and deeper cooperation. Prof. Lu gave a brief introduction about the Sichuan University, South Asian Study Centre and Nepal Centre.
In the afternoon, Minister Thapa-led delegation visited Du JiangYan Irrigation System, post-quake reconstruction project in Jiuloang Community and acquired information with the view to replicate similar projects in Nepal. The delegation also visited the Tongfang Electric Corporation, learned about company’s technical expertise in developing hydropower projects.
Minister Thapa was accompanied by Minister for Law and Justice, Agni Prasad Kharel, Nepalese Ambassador to China Dr Mahesh Maskey, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jhabindra Aryal, and other members of the delegation during the meetings and observation rips.
Wrapping up a six-day official to the northern neighbour, the minister is scheduled to return home on Tuesday via Lhasa. During the transit at the Lhasa airport, the minister is scheduled to hold meeting with the leaders of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. Minister Thapa-led Nepali high level delegation had left for China on Dec. 23 at the invitation of the Chinese government. Earlier in Beijing the foreign minister had held extensive talks with Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. This is the first high level delegation from Nepal to China since the formation of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Oct 11.