China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will pave the way for new opportunities for Nepal to realise its dream of development and economic prosperity, according to various government officials and experts.
The comments came after a one-day seminar titled - "Strengthening cooperation to promote the construction of the Belt and Road" was organised by Nepal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI) in Kathmandu on Monday, the Xinhua reported.
"We have chalked out strategies and plans to implement the initiative but I believe Belt and Road Initiative is a much broader concept. We should have three tracks of approach, including the government one, business to business approach including private sector and knowledge-based approach to gain maximum benefits," Shanker Das Bairagi, Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said after inaugurating the event.
He stated that Nepal was a land-locked and a less developed country and needed the cooperation of its neighbours, especially China, to upgrade its status to a developing country.
On the other hand, Chinese officials acknowledged the same and pointed out the need of a concrete mechanism for implementation.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong said that development of the BRI needed sincerity, political resolution and the vision of all parties.
"China is willing to work closely with Nepal to seize the historical chance to develop concrete cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and bring China-Nepal relations to a new height," Yu said.
The Chinese ambassador in a statement noted key issues to enhance the cooperation with Nepal such as - strengthening policy coordination and consolidate mutual trust, expanding connectivity and sharing experience for economic development, promoting the unimpeded trade, deepening the financial integration and constructing the road for innovation and strengthening the people-to-people bond for mutual learning.
Dr Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, President of Nepal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "We are eager to welcome investment under the Belt and Road Initiative in various possible sectors like hydropower, agriculture, trade-related infrastructure, tourism, herbs and herbal products, natural resources and service sectors."
Around 100 experts from different countries, investors, traders and business community members attended the one-day seminar in Kathmandu.
Nepal and China had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the BRI in May last year.
The BRI aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road. It will bring opportunities in multiple fields including trade, connectivity, physical infrastructure development, tourism and investment.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a part of this initiative has been criticised by India since it passes through the disputed Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) region.