Nepal to sign OBOR pact with China

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Kathmandu, May 9 (IANS) Nepal has decided to be part of the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative and is going to sign framework agreement on One Belt One Road this week, its government decided on Monday.

A Cabinet meeting on Monday decided to sign the framework agreement on OBOR ahead of OBOR Conference slated to take place in China next week.

Nepal has decided to sign an agreement on OBOR that will link Nepal to India and Europe, said Information and Communication Minister Surendra Karki after the meeting.

He said a high-level delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara will participate in the OBOR Conference in China, with Mahara accompanied by two other ministers and other senior officials.

Ahead of the conference, Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Yu Hong will sign the framework agreement on OBOR in the presence of Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat here this week.

Then the Nepali delegation led by Mahara will sign an MoU during the OBOR Conference in China.

During his recent China visit, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ had assured the Chinese leadership that Nepal will be the part of belt and road initiative ahead of OBOR Conference.

The pact was only possible after series of negotiations between Nepali and Chinese officials including free trade, currency arrangement, financial institutions, investment and others.

After the framework agreement, Nepal will negotiate with China on various intricacies of OBOR including connectivity, trade regime, investment and others. A signature initiative of President Xi Jinping himself, OBOR aims to enhance connectivity and cooperation among countries, primarily between China and the rest of Asia and Europe through land as well as maritime routes.

Beijing had sent a draft proposal on OBOR to Nepal late last year. After a month-long consultation and with some revision, the Nepali side sent back the draft to Beijing.



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