Xi announces Rs 14b in new aid

President Ram Baran Yadav (left) meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Boao, south China’s Hainan Province, on Saturday. Photographer: Xinhua
President Ram Baran Yadav (left) meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Boao, south China’s Hainan Province, on Saturday. Photographer: Xinhua
President Ram Baran Yadav (left) meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Boao, south China’s Hainan Province, on Saturday. Photographer: Xinhua

HONG KONG, MAR 29 – Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a 900 million RMB (Rs14.5 billion) economic package to Nepal during a meeting with President Ram Baran Yadav at Boao of Hainan province in China on Saturday.

The assistance will be used to upgrade the 115-km Araniko Highway that links Nepal with China, and to develop the transport infrastructure.

The aid was announced during a bilateral meeting of President Yadav and his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. The meeting was held at the State Guesthouse for about half an hour. The meeting is the first between the heads of state of the two countries after Nepal was declared a republic in 2008.

The aid is on top of the annual Chinese assistance to Nepal that was recently increased from 150m RMB to 800m RMB (approximately Rs13 billion).

During the bilateral meeting, the Chinese government also announced 1,500 training slots for Nepalis in technical and non-technical sectors over the next five years.

Acting Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi said President Yadav also reminded Xi about his invitation to visit Nepal. “The Chinese President said he would visit Nepal at a convenient time in future. Xi expressed his concerns for timely constitution in Nepal,” he added.

According to Nepali Ambassador to China Mahesh Maskey, Xi assured Chinese support for economic and social development of Nepal. “China is ready to provide technical assistance for the development of agricultural in Nepal,” he said.

President Yadav addressed the conference on Saturday morning. He said that the Forum had a crucial role of bringing Asian nations closer. He invited investments in infrastructure development, hydropower, agriculture, tourism and information technology in Nepal. President Yadav also met Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on the sidelines.

Source : eKantipur