Nepal, China sign three crucial agreements

Kathmandu, August 15

Nepal and China today signed three crucial agreements, including a deal to explore petroleum and gas resources, in Nepal.

The agreements were signed after bilateral talks between visiting Chinese delegation led by Vice-premier Wang Yang and the Nepali side led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Federal Affairs and Local Development Bijay Kumar Gachhadar.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by Finance Secretary Santa Raj Subedi and Chinese Vice Minister for Commerce Yu Jianhua in the presence of Wang, Gachhadar and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

According to a press statement issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the two countries inked Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation, Framework Agreement on Promotion of Investment and Economic Cooperation, and Letter of Exchange for Oil and Gas Resources Exploration in Nepal.

Under-secretary at the MoF Yugraj Pandey said the Chinese government would provide Rs 15 billion for the reconstruction of infrastructures damaged by 2015 earthquakes.

Pandey, who is also the chief of International Economic Coordination Division at the MoF, said the amount would also be spent on upgradation  of the Araniko Highway and construction of a bridge in Timure of Rasuwa district.

Likewise, a Rs 2.25 billion deal was also signed for the exploration of petroleum products and gas in Nepal. Time frame for the implementation of the accord is yet to be determined.

The two sides also agreed to attract Chinese private sector investment to Nepal.  Both sides agreed to further enhance bilateral cooperation in areas of trade, tourism, investment, infrastructure development, energy, cross-border connectivity and people-to-people relations.

Both sides agreed to improve facilities at Nepal-China border points. The Nepali side reiterated its request to the Chinese side to open of the Tatopani-Zhangmu border point. The Chinese side agreed in principle to Nepal’s request.

DPM Gachhadar reiterated Nepal’s commitment to One-China Policy, including the principled position of not allowing its territory to be used against neighbours. Both sides emphasised on the importance of exchange of high-level visits to further strengthen bilateral relations.

The two sides agreed to hold regular meetings of bilateral mechanisms, including the Joint Economic and Trade Committee.

DPM Gachhadar hosted a luncheon in honour of the Chinese Vice-premier and his delegation.

Visiting Chinese delegation led by Vice-premier Wang arrived in Kathmandu yesterday on a four-day official visit.

It is the highest level visit from the northern neighbour in last five years, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had visited Nepal in 2012. Wang is one of the four vice premiers of China.