Monday, June 10, 2019

Nepali envoy urges China to help reduce trade deficit

There has been significant growth in trade, investment, cultural, political and people-to-people exchanges between Nepal and China in the recent years, Nepali envoy to China Leela Mani Paudyal said, addressing the second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum in Yuxi City of Yunnan Province, today.
“But with the growing trade volume, the trade deficit is also widening between the two neighbours,” he said, seeking China’s support for promoting concessional market access for Nepal, transferring technology and enhancing production capacity.
Last year, the Yunnan Provincial People’s Government had announced that it would provide a permanent place for the exhibition of Nepal products in Kunming to promote Nepal products in Yunnan, which could reduce increasing trade deficit between the two nations, he said.
Ambassador Poudyal said that many big Chinese companies including Huawei, ZTE, SinoHydro, China Gezhouba, CAMC, Hongshi Cement, Huaxin Cement and Sichuan Investment Group have invested in Nepal. China is, currently, is the largest foreign direct investor, the second largest trading partner and the second largest source of tourism of Nepal.
Nepal is considered as a virgin land where many potential sectors for investment are awaiting modern technology and management, he said, adding that hydropower, physical infrastructure including railways, digital technology, medicinal herbs processing, agriculture, tourism and mining are the potential priority areas for investment.
Likewise, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Nepal grew by almost 47 per cent in 2018, Poudyal said, shedding light on Nepal’s China policy. He also noted that it had been consistently adhering to One-China policy and never tolerated any anti-Chinese activities on its soil. “On the other hand, China has always supported Nepal’s sovereign independence, territorial integrity and peace, providing much-needed development assistance without preconditions.”
Though Nepal accounts for only 0.1 per cent of the global landmass, the Himalayan nation has eight of the world’s tallest 14 peaks, including Sagaramatha (Mt Everest), 600 indigenous plant families, 8 per cent of the total population of birds, and 4 per cent of the mammals on earth, he added.
The Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, BBC and CNN have rated Nepal as the best value of money destination, in several consecutive years in the past including the year 2019.
Inviting them to visit Nepal during Visit Nepal Year 2020, he said that as a goodwill gesture the Nepal government offers free of cost on arrival visa to the Chinese citizens. “With these landmark achievements, Nepal-China relations have entered a new era of common development and shared prosperity.”
Governor of Yunnan Province Ruan Chengfa, on the occasion, said that China and its South Asian neighbours had the confidence to take the lead in the policy communication, infrastructure connectivity, smooth trade and financial integration between them. “We will jointly implement the cooperation projects, creating sound atmosphere for economic and trade cooperation in the region,” he said, adding that opening up is the only way a country to prosper and develop. “Yunnan is sparing no efforts in building the world’s first class clean energy, green food and healthy life industry.”

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