It is now certain that Nepal could become the founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is expected to upgrade Nepal to a developing nation status in the next eight years by 2022.
At the consultative meeting held in Shanghai of on last Tuesday, Nepal expressed its intention to acquire the founding membership and proposing country China agreed to it.
A proposal to this effect has been presented in Sunday ’s cabinet meeting, said Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Madhu Kumar Marasini, expressing his optimism that the proposal would be approved.
In Shanghai meeting, Nepali delegation leader, Comptroller General Shankar Adhikari, and Finance Ministry Under Secretary Kailashraj Pokhrel stressed on special efforts for providing technology and knowledge besides capital by the bank in infrastructure development.
Nepal stressed on special attention by the bank board on technology and capacity building needed for infrastructure.
Secretaries of 22 countries from South Asia, South East Asia and Middle East participated in the meeting and another meeting will be held by July 31 in Beijing, and all countries will sign the MOU by fourth week of October.
Participating in the meeting were Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, most of South East Asia and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman of Middle East.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang on October last year had proposed a bank for linking countries of Asia through infrastructures like roads.
China had proposed a 100 billion dollar fund for infrastructure for regional economic development of Asia.
Chinese Vice Minister for Finance Shi Yaobin had urged PM Sushil Koirala, Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat and Finance Secretary Yubaraj Bhusal recently for Nepal becoming a founding member. China had pledged 50 billion US dollars and founding member should contribute 55.5 million dollars in five years to be paid in installments of 2.2 million dollars.
Member countries will receive economic and physical cooperation from the bank and Nepal expects investment in energy production, transmission lines, tourism, road, railway, and airport to become a developing country by 2022.
China has been assisting Nepal in schools, Tatopani Dry Port, Ring Road expansion, food grant, Upper Trishuli 3 A, tourism, medical equipment and hospital projects, and is to cooperate in projects like solar energy in Singha Durbar, Larcha-Barhabise road expansion, Rasuwagadhi Dry Port and Pokhara Regional Airport, among others.