(24 June 2018, Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu)
Dear Friends from Media,
I have returned back to the home countrytoday after completing my six-day official visit to our friendly country, China at the invitation of His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China.
You are aware of the important achievements of the visit from the media persons of the delegation who were constantly disseminating the news about it.
The objectives of my visit were to further enhance friendship and goodwill between Nepal and China; to prepare implementation procedures and modalities of the agreements and understandings reached between the two countries; to update the Chinese leadership about the priorities of the present government formed after the historic election; and to cooperate and collaborate with the Chinese government in various sectors to realize our national agenda for economic prosperity.
In China, I paid a courtesy call on H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. I had delegation level talks with my counterpart, H. E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China. I also had the meeting with H. E. Mr. Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China. Similarly, I had the meeting with H. E. Mr. Qi Zhala, Chairman of the People’s Government of Tibet Autonomous Region of China in Lhasa.
While congratulating for historic political transformation in Nepal, the Chinese leadership expressed hope that the Government of Nepal wouldlead the country to a new stage of development. Also, while expressing confidence over the success of the campaign of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ along with political stability, social harmony and economic development, Chinese leaders assured to assist to the best of their capacityto make the campaign a success. Both sides have agreed for effective implementation of all the agreements/MoUs including those concluded during my visit to China in 2016.
Both sides have agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of railway, road, port, aviation and communication under the overarching framework of Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network to accelerate implementation of the MoU on ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ between Nepal and China.
After substantive and comprehensive discussion with the high level Chinese leadership, various agreements and MoUs have been signed and fourteen-point Joint Statement has been issued to provide guidelines for further development and enhancement of Nepal-China relations for the coming days.
Agreements and MoUs signed and exchanged between the two sides will help widen the scope of existing Nepal-China economic cooperation. In this context, MoU on Cooperation in Railway Projectsbetween the two countries has remained a significant document. Through its implementation, cooperation process will move ahead after the speedy completion of pre-feasibility study of Kerung-Rasuwagadhi- Kathmandu railway development on Chinese grant. It will also prepare the foundation for Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lunbini railway construction. It is the most important understanding in the history of our bilateral cooperation and both the countries believe that it will add a new dimension in the field of cross-border transport network.
We had positive discussion with the Chinese leadership on the matters to provide assistance for the infrastructure development of Nepal. Both sides have agreed to expand road and air connectivity, strengthen land transport infrastructure and further strengthen the North-South transport network. In this context, both sides have agreed to further study on making available of possible assistance for the development of Koshi Economic Corridor, Gandaki Economic Corridor and Karnali Economic Corridor. Both sides have agreed to encourage the airlines companies of the respective countries to expand direct air connectivity.Similarly, anMemorandum of Understanding on the Feasibility Study of Kerung-Rasuwagadhi-Galchhi-Ratmate 400 KV Transmission Line has been signed between Nepal Electricity Authority and State Grid Corporation of China in order to develop cross -border transmission line.
It has been agreed to conclude the Protocol through meeting in July for the speedy implementation of the Agreement on Transit Transport between Nepal and China and to open Tatopani-Khasaborder pointby May 2019. Both sides have agreed to operate Rasuwagadhi-Kerung border point in a well-managed way, to improve Syaphrubesi-Rasuwagadhi road and to construct bridge in Hilsa at the earliest possible.
Chinese side has agreed to provide assistance for the feasibility study of oil and gas exploration in Nepal and has informed to assist in the infrastructure development for the storage of petroleum products, after necessary study.
Chinese side has agreed to adopt positive measures to facilitate export of Nepali products to China;providing technical and financial assistance for product development and post-harvest technology in agro-products;to make financial transaction between two countries through banking channels and to provide technical assistance for building well-equipped laboratory for quarantine facilities in Nepal. Likewise, both sides have agreed to open additional trade points on mutual consensus.
Chinese side has positively considered the proposal of the Government of Nepal to open Consulate General of Nepal in Chengdu.
Chinese Government has agreed to assist tourism promotion of Nepal in China in accordance with the announcement of the Government of Nepal to celebrate the Visit Nepal Year 2020.Similarly, Chinese side has responded positively to provide more than 400 training opportunitiesevery year and to increase the number of government scholarships for human resources development of Nepal.
Both countries have agreed to expand and further strengthen the existing relations between the two countries through the exchange of high level visits. In this context, I have extended an invitation to visit Nepal to His Excellency the President of China on behalf of the Rt. Hon. President and to His Excellency the Premier of China on my behalf. I have expected that there will be a visit to Nepal from the high-level political leadership of China soon.
During my visit, I visited the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing and Consulate General of Nepal in Lhasa and interacted with Nepali Community.
I urged Chinese businessmen to invest in Nepal while addressing them in the Program “China-Nepal Business Forum” jointly organized by the Embassy of Nepal and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) on the occasion of the visit. Likewise, for the promotion of Nepali tourism in China, I inaugurated Nepal-China Friendship Run organized in Beijing Sports University.
While staying in Beijing, I addressed a program organized by Chinese Academy of Governance.
Chairman of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank met with me. During the meeting, as a founding member of the Bank, I held a discussion with him on increasing investments in energy production and infrastructure development in Nepal.
While staying in Lhasa during my visit to China, I met with the Chairman of the People’s Government of Tibet Autonomous Region of China H. E. QiZhalaand discussed with him on matters of trade, tourism, investment and well-managed operation of border points between Nepal and TAR of China. On that occasion, he assured me to fully cooperate in the implementation of all agreements and understandings reached between Nepal and China during my visit.
The followingAgreements, MoUs, and Letters of Exchanges have been signed during the visit:
- Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation.
- Two separate Agreements on the Construction of Friendship Bridge and RasuwaBridge
- Protocol on the Utilization of Highways in Tibet Autonomous Region, China by Nepal for Cargo Transport
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Investment and Cooperation on Production Capacity
- MOU on the Establishment of Mechanism for Facilitation on the Implementation of China-Nepal Cooperation Programmes and Projects in Nepal between the two Foreign Ministries
- MOU on Strengthening Cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries
- MOU on Human Resource Development Cooperation
- Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation (Under this, we will receive rest one billion Chinese Yuan as per the previous commitment to provide three billion Chinese Yuan for reconstruction in Nepal)
- Letter of Exchange on the Reconstruction of Nuwakot Palace
- Letter of Exchange on the Reconstruction of Schools in Rasuwa
- Letter of Exchange on the Reconstruction of Schools in Dolakha
- Letter of Exchange on the Reconstruction of Schools in Sindhupalchok.
- Memorandum of Understanding on the River Control of Nine Rivers in the Eastern JhapaDistrict under the East TeraiRiver Control Project.
Likewise, other nine agreements on different areas including hydropower and production have been concluded in my presence between businessmen involved in both public and private sectors of Nepal and China. From these agreements, It is expected that a large amount of Chinese Investment will enter into Nepal in these areas in coming days.
Overall Analysis of the Visit
Political relation between the two countries has been further strengthened and friendship, mutual trust and understanding have been enhanced through high-level meetings and discussions on the occasion of my visit to China;with discussions and conclusion of agreements and understandings on areas of railways, energy, transportation, physical infrastructure, investment and tourism, framework of long-term economic cooperation has been prepared and the scope of cooperation has been widened. In particular, Memorandum of Understanding on Railway Connectivity signed between the two countries has remained an important document. It has paved the way for enhancing trans-border connectivity in coming days. Similarly, the foundation of people-to-people level relations has been further reinforced after the interactions and discussions with scholars and business community of both countries. Hence, I believe that achievements of my visit are more than my objectives communicated to you through various media outlets prior to the visit.
Banking on the foundation of political stability achieved by the country through the completion of elections in all tiers of federal setup, the Government is committed to making the campaign of “Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali” a success. The Government is moving ahead with the policy and action plan of maximum mobilization of internal as well as external resources for economic prosperity while enhancing national interests and self-reliance and protecting sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the nation.
In my attempts to collaborate with and ensure good wishes and cooperation from them, I have visited friendly neighbouringcountries. You all are well aware that the Government’s declared policy is to move forward bilateral relations and cooperation with neighbouring countries on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual interest.
It is us who have to develop Nepal. Now, we need to focus on the implementation of agreements that have been concluded with our friendly countries for economic prosperity. I believe, steps that we take towards this direction will ensure the long-term advancement of nation and all-round progress of Nepali people.
Finally, on behalf of my delegation and on my own, I would like to extend sincere gratitude to His Excellency the President, His Excellency the Premier, all the relevant agencies of the Government of China, leaders and officials of Tibet Autonomous Region and all the People of China for according warm welcome and hospitality to me and my delegation during my official visit. I express my thanks to all the media for delivering news about the visit positively with good faith.