The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as One Belt One Road (OBOR), is an initiative of China to build a wide network of land and sea routes to global connectivity. It is a Chinese dream envisioning the revival of the historic Silk Road that laid the way for Chinese prosperity, enriching international trade and political relations. It is now being reinvented with a plan to develop the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt that links China with the rest of Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and East Asia, according to modern parameters.
Nepal is also connected to the Silk Road through the Tibetian region of China, and has a plenty of economic opportunities for its development. Located between two big giants has given a lot of leverage to Nepal in terms of global trade. Anything produced here can easily be traded in the global market. Nepal can be a transit for the second biggest economy in the world (China) to reach South Asia.
Nepal, though an underdeveloped nation, is rich in terms of natural resources. Hydropower, tourism, and agriculture are three prominent sectors for converting the country from poor to developing and then ultimately a developed nation. To best utilize those natural resources, it needs huge investments in mega infrastructural projects. Development of these sectors is only possible with a wide network of seas and land routes across many countries. In the BRI framework, Nepal can serve as a “super connector” between China and the rest of the world by which all can benefit including the youth, representing 40.3 percent population of Nepal.
Nepali and Chinese youths both have a great opportunity to play in bridging the gap between two countries and promoting global connectivity. With the BRI concept, youth from both Nepal and China can play an important role to make Nepal a gateway to the rest of South Asia. Youths can play a leading role in national economic development. Nepali and Chinese youth both can equally benefit from the OBOR. Plenty of opportunities for youth and students are there and more can be created through the BRP framework.
The BRI offers the youths with rare opportunities to make full use of their abilities. To benefit from the important strategies of the BRI framework, young people must seize the opportunity. It can provide momentum and opportunities for the employment creation among young people. They can express their ideas, knowledge, and experiences about their role to make the dream project successful. Nepali and Chinese youths can exchange ideas, visions, strategies and solid action plan in terms of connectivity of facilities, trade, entrepreneurship development, financial integration and connectivity of youth and cultural exchanges and many other benefits of socio-political dimensions. Youth can sell their local products in the international market and can flourish entrepreneurship.
This project will create positive opportunities for youths of Nepal and China in the future. This will lead to employment growth and opportunities with tourism collaboration, culture, and education. Chinese and Nepali youth are eager to spread their culture and knowledge throughout the world with this project. It is not only seen as an opportunity for improving the economy but also for becoming global citizens in terms of realizing the importance of being open-minded and cooperative. It is also equally important in the opportunities that would open in engineering and construction industry, agriculture, internet technology and electrical industry among others. The BRI will trigger many young people’s entrepreneurial potentials, which means more diverse businesses can emerge in the industry. Young people hope to be involved with industrial developments as well.
The Belt and Road Initiative has already been put to action supported by numerous countries. The project seems to be optimistic and bring about diplomatic homogeneity. The project is deemed to also bring opportunities to millions of young people around the world with new job opportunities and cultural diversions. We Nepali youth are very optimistic that the Belt and Road project could bring the whole world together.