Fin Min Paudel returns home from China

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel returned home after attending the first meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in China, on Tuesday.

Upon his arrival, Minister Paudel said he held discussion with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of AIIB board of governors' meeting, on the areas of broad cooperation including fuel supply to Nepal.

Talking to the media at the Tribhuvan International Airport, he said Nepal will submit viable projects related to hydropower generation, transmission and north-south road connectivity projects to the AIIB and try to get funding from next fiscal.

During his China visit, Minister Paudel requested his Chinese counterpart, Lou Jiwei, to fix dates for meetings of high-level bilateral mechanisms ahead of Prime Minister KP Oli’s visit to China, in their meeting last week. In addition, he sought additional support from the Chinese government in supply of petroleum products, infrastructure development and investment promotion.

AIIB, a new China-led multilateral development bank, is said to finance infrastructure projects in Asia. For which, the AIIB is expected to lend around $10 billion-$15 billion annually for the first five to six years and has stated to start operations in the second quarter of 2016.

Nepal had formally become one of the founding members of the AIIB on June 29 after former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat put the initials on the AIIB charter — officially known as the Articles of Agreement (AoA).

The AoA has so far been signed by 56 countries, making them founding members of the AIIB. The AoA came into force on December 25. Nepali Parliament ratified the AoA in late December.