China set to give $613m for infrastructure

According to a statement issued by the private secretariat of Nepal’s Finance Minister, Prakash Sharan Mahat, China is set to provide 80 billion Nepali rupees (equivalent to $612.52 million) for various infrastructure projects in Nepal. The funds are reportedly part of a financial and economic assistance package that was first promised by Beijing back in 2008.

Although officials from the finance and foreign affairs ministries said that there was no new financial aid from China, the promised financial and technical assistance would still make a significant contribution to Nepal’s efforts in development projects. The assistance would reportedly support Nepal’s infrastructure, industrialisation, human resource development, health, education, water resources, and sports.

The Chinese funding would likely be welcomed by Nepal as the country struggles to recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the 2015 earthquake which devastated the country’s infrastructure. In recent years, China has been increasing its investment in Nepal, with the two countries working on a trans-Himalayan connectivity network as part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The announcement of the funding comes as Nepal’s Prime Minister, KP Sharma Oli, is scheduled to visit China later this month. While the exact details of the projects to be financed by the Chinese assistance are yet to be disclosed, it is expected to play a significant role in the development of Nepal’s infrastructure and economy.

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