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Nepal expects more bilateral cooperation with China

By Daqiong and Palden Nyima in Lhasa Source:China Daily 2023-06-21


The Nepalese government expects to strengthen cooperation with the Tibet autonomous region in the areas of trade, tourism, culture and infrastructure development, said a top Nepalese official in Lhasa on Tuesday.

"Whether it is commercial enterprises or civil exchanges in Nepal, the just concluded 5th China Xizang Tourism and Culture Expo will not only promote the development of trade in Nepal, but also we can learn more about ethnic unity, and economic development," Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, chairman of the National Assembly of the Federal Parliament of Nepal, said during an exclusive interview with China Daily on Tuesday. Xizang is the name of Tibet in Chinese.

He was amazed that one of the successful things China has done is unite so many ethnic groups and achieve such rapid economic development, which is an important aspect that Nepal needs to learn, he said.

At the invitation of Zhao Leji, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, Timilsina visited Beijing recently.

Between June 15 and 20, Timilsina and his delegation were invited to attend the 5th China Xizang Tourism and Culture Expo in Lhasa and visited Ngari prefecture. He flew back on Tuesday.

Timilsina said China and Nepal share many ports, some of which have not opened yet, and he expects more ports will be opened with improved infrastructure.

"However, Nepal's economic foundation is relatively weak, and we still have difficulties in building the infrastructure, and we hope that China would provide more assistance in this regard," he said.

Timilsina stressed that Lumbini province is the birthplace of Buddha and Nepal produces many handicraft products, especially Buddha sculptures, and he hopes his country will increase the volume of handicraft exports to China.

He also said Nepal has built international airports in Lumbini province and Pokhara city, and he expects more direct flights to open between these cities and the cities of Tibet to boost trade and exchanges between the two sides.

"Some people in Nepal share a similar culture, history and language with people in Tibet. We can cooperate in these areas, and we can trade products such as tea leaves and cashmere," he added.

The three-day 5th China Xizang Tourism and Culture Expo concluded on Sunday. Various activities during the expo were held, such as a keynote forum, an exhibition, a product sales exhibition, and a tourism marketing promotion conference.

According to official statistics, 612 domestic and overseas enterprises, including those from countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia, South Korea and Bhutan participated in the event.

Seven strategic framework agreements and 60 project contracts were signed, with an agreed investment of more than 53 billion yuan ($7.4 billion), during the expo.

At the invitation of Pokhara, a sister city of Nyingchi, Tibet autonomous region, the mayor of Nyingchi will lead a delegation to participate in a dragon boat race in Pokhara.

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