NEPAL and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative here on Friday.

At a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday morning, Foreign Secretary of Nepal Shanker Das Bairagi and Chinese Ambassador Yu Hong signed the MoU.

Bairagi told the ceremony that the cooperation agreement is an important milestone in the Nepal-China relationship, bringing bilateral ties to a new height.

“Nepal is aspiring to benefit from the rise of China which is our close neighbor,” he said.

The MoU aimed at enhancing cooperation on promoting connectivity of facilities, trade connectivity, financial integration and connectivity of peoples.

“The Belt and Road Initiative will bring Nepal within a group of many other countries working for a new economic order. Nepal can be connected with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Central Asia for our trade,” a Kathmandu-based professor of international law Yubaraj Sangroula told Xinhua.

“Nepal has just become a member of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, thanks to the Chinese leadership for introducing such a wide concept that seeks to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between China and various countries and regions around the world,” Deputy Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara told Xinhua following the ceremony.

The deputy prime minister believed that Nepal can benefit in various sectors through the initiative in the days to come.

“Nepal is gradually moving forward from the status of least-developed country, our economic growth is rising, and is full of possibilities, so with the Chinese assistance, we can attain economic prosperity,” he added.

The Belt and Road Initiative was introduced in 2013 aiming to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.

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