04 July 2018
A Think Tank Forum on Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network: Opportunities and Challenges was held at the Embassy of Nepal, Beijing today. The forum brought together around thirty scholars and practitioners from universities and think-tanks of Nepal and China in the fields of infrastructures, energy, transportation, and railways, and international relations and global affairs.
Expressing the view that developing trans-Himalayan multi-dimensional connectivity infrastructures between Nepal and China, a vision which was agreed between the leaders of Nepal and China during the official visit of Prime Minister Rt. Hon. KP Sharma Oli in June this year, will contribute significantly to socio-economic development in the region, Ambassador Leela Mani Paudyal, in his key note speech, said that the forum was organized with a view to discussing co-operation in connectivity between the two countries through academic exchanges between Nepali and Chinese experts. He also called on think tank experts and civil servants of both the countries to meet more frequently to discuss innovative ideas, identify priorities and recommend appropriate policies based on the vision of the leaders of the two countries.
In his paper, Dr. Surya Raj Acharya, Research Professor at the Center for Infrastructure Development and Studies (CIDS) at the Institute of Engineering (IOM) of Tribhuvan University highlighted the significance of Nepal-China transport connectivity in furthering trade, investment and tourism, and in promoting industrialization through access to global value chains.
Prof. Bai Yun of the Department of Tongji University, Shanghai, discussed the benefits of Nepal-China cross-border railway from multiple perspectives, including those of socio-economic growth and development and environmental protection. Prof. Zhang Jianping, Senior Researcher at China Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation discussed the supportive role of connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative in promoting Nepal’s socio-economic development. Mr. Xiang Junyong, Senior Research Fellow at the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Co-operation Organization highlighted the significant potential contribution of Nepal’s hydropower in sustainable development through its interconnection in the global green electricity grids.
Dr. Chen Xiaochen of Renmin University, Prof. Ma Jiali, Executive Vice- Director of Center for International Strategic Studies of the China Reform Forum, Dr. William Sun, Executive Vice-President of the Belt and Road Institute of Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and Ms. Jiang Weili, Deputy Head of the Overseas Department of China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group also spoke at the forum.
Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Sushil K Lamsal moderated the forum.