Belt and Road Forum joint communique incorporates connectivity projects for Nepal under BRI

Published On: April 27, 2019 08:55 PM NPT By: Santosh Ghimire  | @journonepali

KATHMANDU, April 27: A joint communiqué issued after the conclusion of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation has also incorporated the much-talked about Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network and Nepal-China cross-border railway.

In their joint communiqué titled " Belt and Road Co-operation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future" issued today evening in Beijing, the top dignitaries from the participating countries including Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari have expressed their support to build on the progress already made in developing economic corridors and economic and trade co-operation zones in various countries including the Nepal-China Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network and Nepal-China cross-border railway.

Nepali officials are hopeful that the declaration will create a conducive environment for expediting the implementation of projects in Nepal under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative.

Despite signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in May 2017, no substantive progress has been made so far to execute projects under the BRI in Nepal.

Nepal and China agreed to set up Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network during Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli's visit to China in June 2018 with the view of enhancing connectivity in key areas including ports, roads, railways, aviation, and communications.

"In the Joint Communiqué, the leaders vowed to support, among others, policies and activities that help land-locked countries transform into land-linked ones, including by strengthening connectivity and co-operation on transit arrangements and infrastructure," said a press release issued by Nepali Embassy in Beijing on Saturday evening following the conclusion of the two-day summit.

Leaders from the participating countries also highlighted the importance of special and differential treatment in international trade for developing countries, and reaffirmed their commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the press release further said.

President Bhandari, who is paying the nine-day state visit to China, attended and addressed the BRF in Beijing earlier today. Bhandari also addressed the Leaders' Roundtable of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation today.

Speaking on the theme of “Promoting Green and Sustainable Development to Implement the UN 2030 Agenda", the president drew the attention of the world leaders to the adverse effects of climate change and laid emphasis on the need for developing clean energy and low-carbon pathways of development by means of scientific research-based solutions.

Expressing the view that the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is possible only through enhanced co-operation among nations, the president stated that the objectives of development and prosperity as emphasized by the Belt and Road Initiative closely correspond to the Sustainable Development Goals for achieving transformative, inclusive and equitable development outcomes.

The President said that the Belt and Road Initiative is emerging as a key driver for poverty alleviation, employment generation, infrastructure building and industrial transformation while expressing the confidence that BRI will support the process of economic transformation in Nepal by expanding connectivity networks and supporting the country's economic integration into the global market.

Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Chief Minister of Province 3 Dor Mani Paudel and senior government officials were present on the occasion. 

Also today, President Bhandari attended a welcome reception hosted by Ambassador of Nepal to China, Leela Mani Paudyal. On behalf of the president, Foreign Minister Gyawali spoke on the importance of the first-ever State Visit of the President of Nepal to China and expressed the hope that the Visit would add a new chapter to expand and consolidate the already-warm and cordial ties and co-operative partnership between the two countries.

He urged the Nepali community of China to contribute to the development of Nepal through their knowledge, skills and other resources. Ambassador Paudyal delivered a welcome statement.


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