Nepal-China seal agreements on petroleum products survey, investment and promotion

SHARACHCHANDRA BHANDARY, KATHMANDU, Aug 15: Nepal and China have sealed three important agreements with long term impact on Nepal’s socio-economic development.

Following on the heels of a high-level dialogue among the top government officials from both the neighbors, agreements were held on three different topics – Economic and Technological Cooperation, China -Aid Oil and Gas Resources Survey Project and Framework Agreement on Promotion of Investment and Economic Cooperation.

The top officials signed the agreements in the presence of Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Yang, Deputy Prime Minister, Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, DPM and Foreign Minister, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Yu Hong.

The documents pertaining to the agreements were signed by Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi from Nepal and Vice Minister Yu Jianhua from the Chinese side.

Speaking to the National News Agency (RSS) Secretary Subedi said the agreements reached with China would make significant contributions in the country’s socio-economic transformation.

The agreements straddle a wide range of projects including a feasibility study on natural gas and petroleum products in mountainous, hilly and the plains of Terai including its survey and excavation. The two countries have reached agreements on establishment of hydro power projects and transmission lines and necessary steps for the economic and technological development.

China has responded positively towards an appeal made by the Nepal Government on immediate resumption of the Araniko highway – an old route connecting the two countries – following an obstruction in the aftermath of the earthquake. China has also agreed in principle to upgrade the highway.

Though the meeting also discussed matters relating to the construction of physical infrastructure projects such as bridge construction at Timure of Rasuwa and Kerung-Kathmandu-Lumbini Railway, no concrete decision was taken.

“The Chinese side is positive over the matter, but extensive talks and discussions are essential as a single round of talks is not enough to finalize all issues. They (the Chinese side) are positive towards our priorities of national development,” Secretary Subedi added.

Chinese Vice Premier of the State Council headed the Chinese delegation while Deputy Prime Minister Mahara led the Nepali delegation to the meeting.

Finance Minister Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, Health Minister Giri Raj Mani Pokhrel, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jitendra Narayan Dev, Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Bir Bahadur Balayar and secretaries at all development-related ministers and senior officials of Investigation Board, National Planning Commission and National Reconstruction Authority were present in the meeting.

Deputy Prime Minister Gachhadar hosted a luncheon in honour of the Chinese delegation today. Members of the Council of Ministers and other government secretaries also attended the meeting. RSS