‘Nepal needs to improve basic infrastructure’

Kathmandu, November 4

A Chinese professor has emphasised on the need to improve basic infrastructure — roads and electricity — for expanding tourism as well as for attracting foreign investment into the country.

Addressing a lecture titled ‘China’s Impressive Economic Rise: Lesson for Nepal in its Development Efforts and Poverty Reduction’ here today, Xiaobo Zhang, professor of economics at Peking University and senior fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute, said Nepal has much to learn from China’s experience.

Explaining the paths and policies pursued by China in its development efforts, Zhang said China’s economy was centrally planned but crises, including a famine, and hardships forced its leaders and policymakers to change course and gradually move towards market-based economy.

“Crises and problems were also opportunities,” the press statement issued today quoted Zhang as saying.

Over the decades, China has implemented a broad spectrum of economic reforms that have transformed China’s economy and established it as an economic powerhouse. These included setting up special economic zones and creating incentives for local areas and politicians. He stressed that the reforms in China were gradual, based on results of experiments and local — as opposed to prescribed by outsiders.

He stressed that Nepal should exploit its comparative advantage of cheap labour in manufacturing as well as natural beauty for tourism. With rising number of middle class in China and India, Nepal can become a popular tourist destination, he said

The programme had been organised by the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), one of the leading research institutions.