KATHMANDU, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Former Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal said Tuesday the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative seeks to promote peace, stability and development cooperation, and brings new opportunities for Nepal.
Nepal, as a close neighbor of China, wants to reap benefits from the initiative, said Dahal, who is also chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party.
Nepal and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in May 2017.
"The then government under my leadership decided to sign the MoU on the BRI in May 2017 with the hope of taking benefit from the initiative in our development endeavors. It was truly matter of pride and pleasure for us to join the initiative," Dahal said when addressing a two-day conference on the Belt and Road Initiative in Kathmandu.
The former prime minister said the Belt and Road Initiative brings new opportunities for smaller countries like Nepal which are aspiring to enhance physical connectivity with other countries.
"The current government and the Nepal Communist Party are committed to implement the MoU on Belt and Road Initiative and reap benefit from it in our development endeavors," Dahal said.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa through the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.
On the occasion, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi expressed the hope that Nepal would immensely benefit from the Belt and Road Initiative.
The conference was participated by experts from China, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, among others.