Nepal seeks China’s favour to reduce trade deficit

Yuxi City, China, June 11: Nepali ambassador to China Leela Mani Paudyal has said that there has been significant growth in trade, investment, cultural, political and people-to-people exchanges between Nepal and China in the recent years.

Ambassador Poudyal made this remark while addressing the 2nd China-South Asia Cooperation Forum in Yuxi City of Yunnan Province, Monday.

“But with the growing trade volume, the trade gap is also widening between the two neighbours. Therefore, Nepal is seeking China’s support for promoting concessional market access in China, transferring technology and enhancing production capacity of Nepal,” said Poudyal.

Last year, the Yunnan Provincial People’s Government had announced that it would provide a permanent place for the exhibition of Nepal products in Kunming to promote Nepal products in Yunnan, thereby reducing the trade gap between the two nations, he said. 

Today, China is the largest source of foreign direct investment, the second largest trading partner and the second largest source of tourism of Nepal. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal grew by almost 47 per cent in 2018.

Shedding light on Nepal’s China policy, envoy Poudyal noted that it had been consistently adhering to One-China policy and never tolerated any anti-Chinese activities on its soil. “On the other hand, China has always supported Nepal’s sovereign independence, territorial integrity and peace, providing much-needed development assistance without preconditions.”

One of the most ancient nation-states in the world, Nepal is endowed with amazing natural, cultural and historical heritage, he said, adding that even though it accounted for only 0.1 per cent of the global landmass, the Himalayan nation had eight of the world’s tallest 14 peaks, including Sagaramatha (Mt. Everest), 600 indigenous plant families, 8 per cent of the total population of birds, and 4 per cent of the mammals on earth.

The Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, BBC and CNN have rated Nepal as the best value of money destination, in several consecutive years in the past including the year 2019.

The Year 2020 has been declared as Visit Nepal Year. “I would like to invite the people from Yunnan to visit Nepal and enjoy natural beauty and cultural diversity with friendly and hospitable people.  As a goodwill gesture the Nepali government offers free of cost on arrival visa to the Chinese citizens. With these landmark achievements, Nepal-China relations have entered a new era of common development and shared prosperity.”

Ambassador Poudyal said that many Chinese big companies like Huawei, ZTE, SinoHydro, China Gezhouba, CAMC, Hongshi Cement, Huaxin Cement and Sichuan Investment Group have already invested in Nepal.

Hydropower, physical infrastructure including railways, digital technology, medicinal herbs processing, agriculture, tourism and mining are the potential priority areas for investment. Nepal is considered as a virgin land where many potential sectors for investment are awaiting modern technology and management.

Strategically located between South Asia and South East Asia, Yunnan can play a significant role in promoting inter-regional co-operations at the regional and sub-regional level.

Governor of Yunnan Province Ruan Chengfa said that China and its South Asian neighbours had the confidence to take the lead in the policy communication, infrastructure connectivity, smooth trade and financial integration between them.

“We will jointly implement the cooperation projects, creating sound atmosphere for economic and trade cooperation in the region. Opening up is the only way a country to prosper and develop. Yunnan is sparing no efforts in building the world’s first class clean energy, green food and healthy life industry,” said Ruan  

Governor Ruan and the ambassadors and high level representatives from the South Asia and Myanmar jointly launched the official website of China-South Asia Cooperation Forum - www.csacf.com – on the occasion.

Delegates from diverse fields of life such as politics, business, media and academic participated in the Forum.

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