Vision For Prosperity
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has stressed the importance of the regional and global economic connectivity to attain the goal of prosperity. In reference to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), spearheaded by northern neighbour China, the Prime Minister said that the vision of BRI when translated into action could serve as a catalyst to meet Nepal’s national goal of prosperity. The remarks are relevant at a time when the nation is striving to graduate to the status of a developing country from the current status of a least developed one. Nepal can not only emulate a lot from the economic and technological advancements achieved by China but also seek its cooperation to make new strides on development. Lying as it is between two giant economies -- China and India - Nepal can serve as a bridge between nations to expand connectivity, development infrastructure and economic cooperation. China’s BRI vision seeks to economically connect the region and the nations beyond through new economic and trade corridor. When that goal is materialised, cultural exchanges, tourism development, trans-national cooperation, technology transfer and similar other interactions can develop easily. Each region and nation has its niche products and potentials that are awaiting market connectivity, exposure and promotion. Communication, connectivity and contacts can bring to light many hidden possibilities that open the door for development and prosperity. Instead of choosing to remain in backwardness and poverty, nations of the region including, Nepal should be open to be part of this initiative for the long cherished economic transformations.
It is in this light that the Prime Minister has emphasised the need of ensuring decent jobs and gainful employment for the hard working people of this nation. Connectivity can turn things around and bring new opportunities that were unimaginable in isolation. Nepal cannot afford to remain in economic backwardness forever. It must come out of isolation and poverty in order to climb the ladder of economic development and standard of people’s life. Such goals can be attained through mutually beneficial cooperation with the close neighbours. Lauding the vision of China’s BRI, the Prime Minister observed that it is an important step to enhance connectivity and cooperation among the countries of the region and beyond. There is no point in taking side with one neighbour while ignoring the importance of the other because the country’s time tested foreign policy lays stress on balanced and dignified relations with the neighbours. When the BRI vision comes into reality, no country in the region will remain in isolation and backwardness and everybody will have the opportunity to taste the fruit of development. Nepal needs to come out with openness to deal with both the close neighbours and to play a key role to be part of the connectivity for prosperity. After the political change, Nepal is at an important juncture in history and the focus is on attaining socio-economic transformation. As the national resources remain untapped and unutilise, now is the time to open up, join the regional and global connectivity and attract investments on key sectors.