Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Wednesday that Nepal will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China to become a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, which was proposed by China.
The prime minister, who returned home from his China visit on Wednesday, informed reporters that his country would become the part of the Belt and Road Initiative as early as possible and reap benefits from the initiative.
“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 infrastructures under the Belt and Road Initiative.
He expressed confidence that Nepalese 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 added.
Nepal initially signed a framework MoU with China in December 2014 though the Himalayan nation has yet to finalize cooperation projects to be developed under the initiative.
Briefing to media about his recent visit to China, the prime minister said the visit was productive to strengthen and enhance bilateral cooperation in various sectors including trade, commerce, connectivity, tourism, agriculture among others.
“I expressed commitment on behalf of the government of Nepal that we would like to become the part of the Belt and Road Initiative during my meeting with
Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing recently,” 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.
Dahal said the two countries would work to cooperation in Nepal's post-earthquake reconstruction, culture and people-to-people relations between the two countries.
Dahal, who attended the Boao Forum for Asia Conference last week in Hainan province of China, said the forum was important for South Asian countries including Nepal to discuss on promotion of regional cooperation, connectivity and trade.
“High level meetings between the two governments during my visit help to take our bilateral ties to a new height. I believe that the goodwill and incessant support from China in Nepal's socio-economic development will continue in future,” he said.
“My visit to China was productive on multiple areas of cooperation such as energy, tourism, trade, commerce, connectivity, investment and physical infrastructure development,” Dahal told reporters.
During the high-level meetings in China, the two sides agreed to deepen mutual trust and explore possible areas and opportunities in future, he said.