Nepal to formally join Chinese Belt and Road: Prachanda

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Kathmandu, March 29 (IANS) Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Wednesday said Nepal will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China to become part of the latter’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

Dahal, who returned home from his China visit on Wednesday, informed reporters that his country would become part of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ as early as possible and reap benefits from the initiative, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We are going to sign the deal with China as early as possible to ensure our participation in the Belt and Road Initiative,” the Prime Minister said, adding that Nepal is keen to develop cross-border railway networks, roads, transmission lines, industrial parks as well as other infrastructure under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

He expressed confidence that Nepali people will benefit from Nepal’s participation in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

“We agreed to cooperate more in jointly building the Belt and Road,” he said.

Nepal initially signed a framework MoU with China in December 2014 though the Himalayan nation has yet to finalise cooperation projects to be developed under the initiative.

Briefing media about his visit to China, the Prime Minister said the visit was successful in strengthening and enhancing bilateral cooperation in various sectors, including trade, commerce, connectivity, tourism and agriculture, among others.

“During my meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, I expressed commitment on behalf of the government of Nepal that we would like to become part of the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

–IANS

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