Beijing: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Wednesday said that Nepal aspired to be part of China’s unprecedented progress in many spheres, and urged the northern neighbour to help change the country’s socio-economic scenario and create success stories.
Addressing the Nepal-China Business Forum in Beijing, he said, “Nepal is a land of vast opportunities for development. Yet, our rich resource base largely remains untapped due to financial and technological constraints. We want to change this scenario and create success stories,” he said. “We believe that China, with its huge financial and technological capability, can help us transform our development landscape.”
China today is the second largest economy, largest industrial producer, largest holder of foreign currency reserves, largest exporter of merchandise goods, second largest foreign direct investment (FDI) provider, global leader in development finance and key driver of global growth.
“Nepal is happy to see the unprecedented strides China has taken in socio-economic and technological development. And being a next door neighbour, it is quite natural for Nepal to aspire for partnership for mutual benefit,” said the prime minister.
“We have a clear vision, straightforward action plan and strategy, firm commitment, overwhelming mass support and ability to implement the development perspectives,” he said. As Nepal aspires to become a middle-income country by 2030 and graduate from least developed country (LDC) status at an early date, it requires massive investment in infrastructure development and innovative technology, he added.
“We confidently count on Chinese investment in filling our financial as well as technological gap. And, I believe our friend China is willing to do this.” Oli added that investing in Nepal had now become a profitable business. “The government is determined to maintain an investment friendly environment, not by word but by action.”
Nepal’s focus on trans-Himalayan connectivity will create a conducive environment for bilateral trade and facilitate increased movement of goods and services, he told the forum. Almost every sector including manufacturing, hydropower, IT, services, tourism, mining and
agro-based industries are open for foreign investment. “Our negative list is very small,” said Oli.
Currently, China provides duty free quota free (DFQF) access for more than 8,000 Nepali products. Nepal has requested the Chinese government to grant an enhanced level of market access for 512 tradable products.
“We are also committed to maintaining a liberal economic policy with the private sector as a key partner.
We have no intention to reverse the trend. We want to assure China that we cannot go against global trends,” said the prime minister. In terms of assuring safety and security of tourists, special provisions are being made, he added.
The government has announced observing 2020 as Visit Nepal Year with the goal of welcoming 2 million tourists. “I would like to encourage Chinese tourists and travel and tour agencies to
make the best use of Nepal’s free visa policy.” The government has aimed to attract 500,000 Chinese tourists during the national tourism campaign in 2020.