KATHMANDU, July 22 (Xinhua) — Nepal’s participation in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative has opened up new opportunities in multiple fields including trade, connectivity, physical infrastructure development, tourism and investment, various speakers said here on Friday.
Speaking at a seminar entitled “China’s Shared Prosperity Dream of President Xi: Opportunities for Nepal” in Kathmandu, the eminent personalities of Nepal were of the view that the country should chalk out strategies and plans to reap benefits from the Belt and Road Initiative.
“I believe that our involvement in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will greatly contribute to enhance socio-economic development of the country,” former Home Minister Shakti Basnet, said.
Basnet said that Nepal’s participation in the initiative has opened up new opportunities in multiple fields such as trade, connectivity, physical infrastructure development, tourism and investment.
Former Finance Minister Surendra Pandey said that Nepal should chalk out strategies to reap benefits from the Belt and Road Initiative.
“Of course Nepal needs better railroad and transport connectivity for its socioeconomic development. But the question is what Nepal is doing to reap benefits from the Belt and Road Initiative? Time has come to work out development strategies and apply them in practice for the good of the country’s long-term interests,” he said.
Highlighting salient features of the Belt and Road Initiative, Former Nepali Ambassador to Russia Hiranyalal Shrestha said that the aim of the Belt and Road Initiative is to share development and prosperity with friendly and harmonious relation to China’s neighboring countries and the rest of the world.
Nepal has officially joined the Belt and Road Initiative, Shrestha said, hoping that the Himalayan nation will be able to bring huge investments from China to develop infrastructure and connectivity projects.
Former Nepali Ambassador to China Dr. Mahesh Maskey said that Nepal should sincerely work to improve border infrastructures on its side to enhance railroad connectivity with China under the Belt and Road framework.
Security expert Dipak Prakash Bhatta said that countries like Nepal who are still in the phase of socio-economic transformation can be benefitted from the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China and usher to achieve socio-economic development.
The program was organized by Peace Building Initiative, a leading think-tank in Kathmandu.
Nepal and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Belt and Road Initiative on May 12 in Kathmandu.
Introduced by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.