President Bhandari addressing the Belt and Road Forum Friday.
KATHMANDU, April 27: President Bidya Bhandari has said that the development of ‘Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network’, including Nepal-China Cross-Border Railway, will boost connectivity not only between Nepal and China but other countries in the region.
Addressing the High-Level Meeting of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Friday, President Bhandari said that connectivity is of paramount importance in its socio-economic development for a landlocked country like Nepal. “With enhanced connectivity, vast opportunities for trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people relations will open up,” she said.
While lauding China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), President Bhandari said that the far-sighted vision of Chinese President Xi Jinping to build a community of shared future for mankind through BRI carries a huge potential. “It is an important framework for collaboration, for cooperation and partnership,” she said.
Bhandari, who addressed the Forum in Nepali, said that mutual efforts for mutual benefit; inclusive development for fair and equitable world order; and the green development for the good health of the people and planet embody its spirit. “It lays emphasis on boosting connectivity, developing infrastructure, connecting markets and enhancing cooperation among the nations in diverse sectors in the region and beyond,” she said.
While stating that BRI promotes openness in place of isolation, cooperation in place of confrontation and win-win cooperation in place of zero-sum game, President Bhandari also said that BRI can play an instrumental role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in view of the fact that many countries are facing huge resource gap. “BRI is the engine for prosperous future where not a single country is excluded from the fruit of development,” she added.
Earlier on Friday, President Bhandari attended the Opening Ceremony of Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali, Chief Minister of Province 3 Dormani Paudel, members of Federal Parliament and senior Government officials were present on the occasion.
President Bhandari also attended a banquet dinner hosted by her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in the evening. The president is scheduled to participate in the Leaders’ Roundtable of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation Saturday and deliver a speech on the thematic session on “Promoting Green and Sustainable Development to Implement the UN 2030 Agenda” in the afternoon.