FinMin urges China to settle pending issuesFinance Minister Bishnu Poudel on Sunday urged his Chinese counterpart Finance Minister Lou Jiwei to conclude the issue of trade, transit and investment between the two countries
Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel on Sunday urged his Chinese counterpart Finance Minister Lou Jiwei to conclude the issue of trade, transit and investment between the two countries before Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s planned formal visit to China. Oli has received a formal invitation to visit China and is expected to do so in a few months.
The Finance Ministry said in a press release that Poudel had urged the Chinese minister to cooperate in holding a high-level meeting between the two sides before Oli’s visit.
Poudel is currently in China to participated in the opening ceremony of China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) of which Nepal is a founding member. Although Nepal and the northern neighbour had agreed to give momentum to the proposed fuel import deal during the visit of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa last December, a commercial deal has not been signed between Nepal Oil Corporation and PetroChina as expected.
Nepal has also requested China to provide transit facility for international trade as provided by India. The government has been looking for alternative transit routes following the Indian embargo.
Nepal and China have not signed a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (Bippa) although many years have passed since the northern neighbour made the proposal.
During the meeting with the Chinese finance minister, Poudel also asked him to increase Chinese investment in fuel supply and infrastructure development.
Lou said that China was positive to Nepal’s proposals and insisted that bilateral relations be developed with an eye on long-term mutual benefit.