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Kamala Sarup: Nepal China Economic Relationship

The Nepal China Economic Relationship


By Kamala Sarup

Recently, Chinese government has provided medicines and hospital equipment worth 1.4 million Nepali rupees to B.P. Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Nepal. The Chinese government has been providing medicines since 1999.

Even recently experts said in Kathmandu, transit economy between China and India will serve as a milestone to generate employment and boost Nepal`s economy. The trade volume between China and India stands about 10 billion US dollars and the two countries plan to increase it to 30 billion US dollars within 20 years.

Nepal and China, as close and good neighbors, share a common border of over 1,400 kilometers. Nepal and China's relationship is based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and good neighborliness. We must ensure that our traditional bonds of friendship always remain. China has been a consistent partner in Nepal's development, thus, Nepal is grateful to the aid and support extended by the Chinese government for Nepal's economic development.

Officials from Nepal and China are convening for bilateral consultative meeting in Beijing on July 2. During this meeting both countries will discuss measures to boost economic cooperation and also explore new areas to strengthen bilateral ties.

Among others, the two sides will for the first time discuss on the latest commitment of Nepal to develop itself as transit corridor for Indo-China trade and bridge between China and South Asia, Madhu Raman Acharya said recently.

Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Nepal and China in 1955, King Birendra has paid ten visits to China. China took an open-door and reform policy in 1978, the King expressed heartfelt admiration for what China has achieved. "I have been able to see for myself the impressive economic progress your country has made over the years and the current policy adopted by China has been instrumental in improving the quality of lives of its people,". Even Chinese president Jiang Zemin and King Birendra were agreed to set up a good-neighborly partnership between Nepal and China during President Jiang's state visit to Nepal in December 1996.

It was significant official visit by the head of PLA Chinese General Fu Quan You to Nepal in 2000. During his visit General also emphasized China's sensitivity regarding its own security for which Nepal's continued independence and secured sovereignty is an essential component.

From the strategic point of view, Nepal is no less important for China than any of her big neighbours. China government is also convinced to fight trans-border terrorism. Nepal also will not allow any anti-Chinese activity on its territory.

China and Nepal, with different conditions, social systems and historical and cultural backgrounds, have witnessed sound and smooth progress of their bilateral relations. China-Nepalese bilateral relations, featuring equal and sincere treatment, mutual support and friendship for generations, can be an example for relations between two countries.

Nepal will be China's reliable friend. Nepal also hopes to continuously enhance people-to-people contacts and expand cooperative spheres with China.

We both countries face similar development challenges and we can learn from each other to utilize trade and other economic tools to address needs of our common people. Lastly, we have now an information infrastructure in place to facilitate easy flow of business information between China and Nepal.

We shall soon set up a Chinese Business Information Centre at Kathmandu. With all these interactions, we do hope that bilateral business will be stronger.

Nepal is a good investment venue, with variety of sectors to invest, such as cement, ceramics, electronics, electrical items, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer, food processing and garments,among others.

Tourism itself has emerges as a good business opportunity, indeed it is one of the fastest growing sector of economy in many countries, including in Nepal.

Nepal is interested to work with Nepal in promoting bilateral and regional tourism. We do hope additional air services that may commence soon between Beijing and Kathmandu will accelerate the process of cooperation in this regard.

Beijing-Kathmandu Bus service may also positively contribute to this process. Relations between Nepal and China have been traditionally close and have reflected the links of history. Nepal continues to maintain very close and friendly relations with China, which is an important maritime neighbor.

On the other side, there are many items, which can be traded between the two countries and to the mutual benefits of the two countries.

We should develop lines of common interests between the two countries. Nepal's relationship with China is unique. Since the very beginning of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China-Nepal relations were characterised by ties at the people's level. The relations have improved and the major stake in the relation lies in strengthening the border areas and in improving people-to-people contact and furthering economic relations and trade.

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(Kamala Sarup is an editor of http://peacejournalism.com)

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