Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Nepal asks China to lower air fare

Nepal has requested China to lower the airfare between China and Nepal.
During the 11th meeting of Joint Consultation Mechanism between Nepal and China held here today in Kathmandu, Nepal has requested to lower the airfare to promote the bilateral trade and tourism.
Both sides, on the occasion, discussed the ways to further enhance coordination and facilitation for the promotion of Nepal’s tourism prospects in China in the context of the Chinese government’s announcement of the year 2017 as ‘Nepal’s Tourism Promotion Year in China’.
The Nepali side also expressed hope that cross-border connectivity, infrastructure development, diversification of Nepal’s trade, promotion of investment and tourism would receive priority in the implementation of the MoU on cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) signed by the two sides on May 12.
The Nepali side also emphasised the need of early resumption of Tatopani-Zhangmu border point. China has agreed to reopen the Tatopani customs point that remains closed since April 2015 when the earthquakes heavily damaged infrastructures on both sides of Nepal-China border. The Chinese side has assured Nepal that China is committed to resuming the operation of the Tatopani customs point once the reconstruction of the damaged buildings and road and protection works of the area are completed. The Chinese delegation also informed the Nepali side that they are investing some Rs 2 billion for the protection and reconstruction works in the area.
Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi led the 21-member Nepali delegation while assistant minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kong Xuanyou led the 12-member Chinese delegation for the meeting that assessed the progress made in the implementation of agreements and Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) reached between the two sides in the past. They also expressed commitment to further promote cooperation in mutually agreed areas. Both sides also agreed to work in realisation of economic opportunities available for mutual benefits.
The visiting assistant minister is scheduled to pay courtesy calls on Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara tomorrow.
He will also visit the reconstruction projects in Kathmandu being implemented under the Chinese grant assistance.
Kong and his delegation arrived Kathmandu on June 19 to attend the meeting and will depart for Beijing on June 22.
The Joint Consultation Mechanism was set up in 1996 as a platform for discussing the matters of mutual concerns and cooperation at the senior officials’ level between the Foreign Ministries of Nepal and China.
During their visits to China, the then prime ministers K P Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal – both – had asked the Chinese side to reopen the Tatopani-Zhangmu border point. Nepal has also been raising this issue in all other meetings with the Chinese side.

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