Colossal opportunity

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China is indeed rising spectacularly on the world stage. With its growing economic clout, the northern neighbour has emerged as a global power to reckon with.

And, undoubtedly, this phenomenon reserves immense potentials to help stimulate the overall development of its neighbouring countries like Nepal.

Over the past few years, Beijing has, indeed, been showing more benevolence towards the socio-economic growth of Nepal.

This can well be gleaned from the steady upsurge in Chinese assistance to various sectors of the country.

Diversity is perhaps the most fitting term to define the nature of Chinese presence in Nepal.

There been an incredible uptick in the volume of investment commitment on the part of the northern neighbour in the country. By overtaking India, China has already earned the distinction of being the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) contributor to Nepal.

More Chinese entrepreneurs are making their foray in different businesses in Nepal and the number of tourists belonging to the northern neighbour coming here is also on the rise.

On the other side, the Chinese officials have been more proactive in magnifying engagement with their Nepali counterparts.

That is why the frequency of representatives from various levels and organs of the Chinese government visiting Nepal is intensifying. In this light, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Nepal last week.

The visit vividly conveys the wish of Beijing to further consolidate its bond with Kathmandu.  

The announcements made by Wang at the end of his visit corroborate this fact.

He announced as high as five-fold increase in foreign aid to Nepal, from RMB 150 million (Rs 2.5 billion) to RMB 800 million (Rs 13 billion).

Importantly, he expressed keenness to not only extend China’s extensive rail links to Kerung, which lies at the Nepal-China border, but also up to Kathmandu.

It, of course, shows that China longs to strategically deepen its connectivity with Nepal. Otherwise a Chinese official of Wang stature would have suggested the Nepali side to carry out a feasibility study for the possible extension of the train line to the country’s capital.

Another substantial recommendation made by him during his visit was Nepal could act as a bridge between China and the rest of South Asia.

In all likelihood, this alludes that China aspires for the economic turnaround of Nepal.

For this to happen, the Nepal must show required sagacity and work together with the Chinese. But the million-dollar question is whether the Nepali political leadership will correct their myopic attitude to demonstrate such a broad vision.


Wednesday, Dec 31, 2014 7:24 pm


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