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Nepal's former PM calls for projects to be developed under Belt and Road framework

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-31 10:36

KATHMANDU — Nepali former Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has called on the country to identify projects to be developed under the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Oli made the call while addressing a one-day conference which focused on enhancing connectivity here on Tuesday.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

"It is a matter of pleasure that Nepal and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this month to ensure Nepal's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative," Oli said.

Nepal believes this partnership will be mutually beneficial to both the countries and crucial to meet the long-term development needs of Nepal, he said, adding that it will help to build peace, social harmony and achieve prosperity in the region and beyond.

Ramsharan Mahat, a senior leader of the ruling Nepali Congress said, "Nepal should now focus to develop cross-border railways, highways and other connectivity projects with China under the Belt and Road framework."

Former Nepali diplomat Hiranya Lal Shrestha said Nepal's involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative has further strengthened age-old bilateral ties between the two countries.

The entry has opened massive new opportunities for Nepal to carry out third country trade via China, he said, adding, "In future, Nepal can set up economic corridors with Pakistan and other countries via China, thus enhancing its connectivity."

On the occasion, experts from Nepal and China stressed the need of cooperation between the two countries under the Belt and Road Initiative.

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