Kathmandu, May 19

Experts have stated that Nepal has to get rid of the mindset that it is a ‘yam-state’ and move towards becoming a ‘link-state’ so as to be a dynamic transit for her two big neighbours: India and China.

King Prithivi Narayan Shah, who founded modern Nepal, had famously said Nepal was “a yam between two boulders’— referring to the country’s distinct geographical position.

During an international symposium on ‘Nepal-India-China relations and new development strategies for Nepal’, former foreign minister Prakash Chandra Lohani said Nepal should improve its rail and road connectivity and develop new linkages in the regional and global value supply chain.

Former Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood observed that the Nepali leadership has to rethink about the ‘yam mindset’ and engage more and more with its neighbours economically.

He added that harnessing Nepal’s hydro energy potentials and exporting it to India could be a game changer for Nepal’s prosperity.

Professor Mahendra P Lama of Jawaharlal Nehru University said Nepal needs to ‘reposition’ itself to grasp the dividends of economic progress of its neighbours in the north and the south.

Reminding that Nepal actually was a link-state between Tibet and India, Associate Professor of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Pradumna B Rana said Nepal and countries of South Asia would get economic benefits if Nepal’s infrastructure connectivity with China and India were improved.

The two-day conference was jointly organised by South Asian Institute of Management (SAIM), Institute for Integrated Development Studies and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.

Inaugurating the function, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bijaya Gachhadar said it was high time Nepal reviewed its past, understood the present and charted a suitable strategic path for its development.

China’s recent attempts to revive the land- based Northern Silk Road and the Great Maritime Highway under the “One Belt, One Road” policy will help reduce our high trading costs and we can benefit from this improved connectivity within Asia.