Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nepal, China sign 9 deals worth $2.50 billion

Nepal and China today signed 9 agreements – including government and private sector – worth $2.50 billion on the second day of Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's visit to Beijing.
The agreements – reached between the two governments and private sectors – signed at the Nepali Embassy in Beijing in the presence of Prime Minister Oli include hydroelectricity, cement industries, establishing highland food parks, water resources, cement factories, pashmina, and fruit cultivation and farming.
Some more memorandum of understandings (MoU) and agreements – between the two governments – will be signed tomorrow after delegation-level talks between Oli and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.
On the occasion, chief executive officer of Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) Maha Prasad Adhikari and vice president of Huaxin Cement of China Xu Gang signed the project investment agreement (PIA) between the Board and Huaxin Cement Narayani Private Ltd. The Chinese firm has pledged $144 of FDI to generate 3,000 metric tonnes of cement per day.
Likewise, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, and China Communications Construction Company signed a MoU to prepare a detailed feasibility study on Eastern Terai River Training in Biring, Kamala, Kankai rivers. Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Energy Dinesh Kumar Ghimire and deputy general manager of China's Communications Construction Company Liu Dongyuan signed the agreement.
Similarly, Fortuna Investment and Guizhou Maritime Silk Road International Investment Cooperation signed another MoU on establishing the highland food park for varieties of fruits and vegetables. Chairperson of Fortuna Investment and Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce (FNCCI) president Bhawani Rana and Zhag Zao of Guizhou Maritime Silk Road International Cooperation signed the agreement of over $46 million for project.
Yunnan Xinhua Water Conservancy and Hydropower Investment Company, Hydrosolutions Group and Shanghai Investigation, Design and Research Institute signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) for the development of 164 MW Kaligandaki Gorge Hydropower Project. Hydrosolutions executive chairman Gyanendra Lal Pradhan and Xu Jianxiang of Yunnan Xinhua Water conservancy and Hydropower Investment and S Xiaoquang of Shanghai Investigation, Design and Research Institute jointly signed the MoU to develop the project under BOOT model.
Likewise, Shailendra Guragain of Siuri Nyadi Hydropower Plant Project and Zhang Yanfei of National Electric Engineering Company signed an agreement for the construction of 40.27 MW Siuri Nyadi Hydropower Plant Project in EPCF model.
On the occasion, Nepal Pashmina Industries Association and One Belt One Road (OBOR) International Trade Platform of CIC Mutual Trade Investment Company also signed an agreement for the sale of Nepali pashmina in China. Nepal Pashmina Industries Association president Durga Bikram Thapa and chairperson of OBOR International Trade Platform of CIC Mutual Trade Investment Company Shu Ya signed the MoU that guarantees purchase order from China would be between 200,000 to 500,000 pieces every year.
Similarly, Butwal Power Company (BPC) chairman Padma Jyoti and the representative of Sichuan Investment Group Company, Chengdu Xingcheng Investment Group Company and Sichuan Qingyuan Engineering Consulting Company signed a MoU on Framework Agreement for Cooperation in Marsyangdi Cascade Hydropower Project of 600 MW.
Siddhakali Power Company chairman Guru Prasad Neupane and vice president of Dongfang Electric International Corporation Chen Qiang signed a MoU on Cooperation Framework Agreement for the Construction of 75 MW Trishuli Galchhi Hydropower Project in EPCF model in the presence of Prime Minister Oli.
However, the agreement on much-talked about Kerung-Kathmandu railway is expected tomorrow though, the modality has not ben finalised yet. The land-locked Nepal is keen to enhance cross-border rail-road connectivity, infrastructure development, trade and tourism cooperation with China under its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to strike the geo-political balance.
Oli has been claiming that his government is fully committed in implementing the MoU on cooperation under the framework of the BRI signed with China two years ago in 2016.
"Our two countries have common views on the concept of Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Transport Network," said Oli after the signing ceremony. "Based on the broad framework, we want to seek cooperation with China on cross-border connectivity of railway, road, transmission lines and other related areas for mutual benefit," he said, adding that Nepal viewes the BRI as an important development initiative.
He also believed that China can help a lot in Nepal's socio-economic transformation as the country is marching ahead to achieve economic prosperity.
During his six-day visit, Prime Minister Oli is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and address a Nepal-China Business Forum and think-tanks in Beijing.
During Oli's visit – second visit as Prime Minister and also immediately after a trip to India soon after his election as Prime Minister and followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's return visit to Kathmandu – Budhi Gandagi and West Seti hydropower projects will figure out or not is yet unknown, though both the projects have created lots of hush-hush between the two nighbours.
The then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had suspended a Chinese-funded dam construction deal – Budhi Gandagi – citing irregularities, and the incumbent Finance Minister Dr Yubraj Khatiwada in his budget speech stated that Nepal will construct West Seti by itself, which Chinese government immediately protested claiming that the project is still under Chinese company.

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