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China’s Belt and Road initiative provides shared benefit to South Asia: Nepali minister

Updated: Oct 19,2016 2:58 PM     Xinhua

KATHMANDU — China-proposed Belt and Road initiative has offered opportunities to South Asian countries for shared benefit from enhanced connectivity between China and South Asia, the Nepali industry minister said on Oct 18.

Nabindra Raj Joshi made the remarks at a seminar on the Belt and Road initiative, which was organized by the Organization for South Asian Regional Friendship and Cooperation with China (OSARFCC).

The Belt and Road refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Belt and Road initiative aims at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

The initiative focuses on promoting infrastructure, connectivity, trade and transit and “Nepal fully abides this concept,” the minister said.

Given Nepal’s geographical location between China and India, two economic powerhouses, Joshi said the Himalayan country wanted to take advantage of this reality.

Peng Wei, economic and commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu, said the Belt and Road initiative sought to promote peace, stability and economic development in countries along the ancient trade routes.

Li Jian from the computer society of Southwest China’s Yunnan province said cooperation in scientific and technological innovation is one of the important components of the initiative and such cooperation could be explored in the areas of agriculture, energy, transportation and information technology, among others.

Participants noted that South Asia could benefit from growing Chinese investments in the countries linked with the Belt and Road initiative.

Young entrepreneurs from Nepal, China, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka participated in the one-day seminar.

OSARFCC President Anoop Ranjan Bhattarai said the seminar was organized to bring young entrepreneurs of China and South Asia together to discuss ways of bringing Chinese investment and technology into the infrastructure upgrading that South Asia desperately needs.

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