‘Economic development major issue’

KATHMANDU: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Madhav Prasad Ghimire, has said issues of economic development have been given the first priority to graduate the country to the status of a developing country within the next 10 years.

At a workshop ‘Bilateral Relations and Economic Cooperation’ jointly organised by the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal and the Association of former Career Ambassador of Nepal (AFCAN) here today, Ghimire said that support of international community was indispensible to upgrade Nepal as a developing country.

Recalling that the European Union (EU) has been working through UN agencies and civil society to implement a broad spectrum of development cooperation activities in areas such as poverty reduction, human rights, preservation of culture of indigenous communities, environmental conservation and sustainable development, basic and primary education, urban development, food security, conflict mitigation and peace building among others, Vice-Chairman of the National Planning Commission, Rabindra Kumar Shakya, expressed the belief that EU will continue the support in the sectors in the days ahead.

Shakya said that the Commission recently released the Thirteenth Plan with the target to graduate Nepal to the status of a developing country within 2022 and added that Nepal is undertaking measures to reduce poverty from the present level of 23 per cent to 18 per cent at the end of the current Thirteenth Plan.

Shakya said that constructive cooperation of the UN as well as other international community was indispensible for the overall development of the country.

On the occasion, Ambassador Alexander Spachis, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal, said the EU has been supporting in Nepal’s peace process, in the education sector, and in economic capacity building. Due to its current state of economic development, the EU has been providing the most favourable trade terms to Nepal, and supports developing the trade capacity of Nepal.
Spachis said that the EU is the biggest provider of the development aid to Nepal and added that EU members have been providing markets to the Nepali products.
He said, “EU is a close friend of Nepal but without immediate and minute interests in Nepal. Therefore, we follow Nepal’s political development closely, but do not set preferences in the internal politics of Nepal.”