Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nepal's Parliament, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, on Monday said that the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative would greatly contribute to his country's socio-economic development.
Mahara made the remarks at a meeting with newly-appointed Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi in Kathmandu, the speaker's secretariat said in a press statement on Monday.
Speaker Mahara stressed the need for strong cooperation between Nepal and China in the field of rail and road connectivity in the coming days, the press statement said.
Nepal and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative on May 12 in 2017.
"I am happy to note that Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2017 when I was serving as the country's finance minister," the speaker said in the meeting.
She also expressed happiness over the two countries' efforts to develop a cross-border railway connecting Chinese border town of Kerung (Geelong port) and Nepal's capital Kathmandu.
On the occasion, Mahara lauded China's assistance to Nepal in various sectors including energy, tourism and physical infrastructure building, among others, and wished for its continued support in the future, according to the statement.
"The political and diplomatic ties between Nepal and China are deep. So is the relationship between the people of the two countries. This has helped to further deepen ties between the two countries," Mahara told the Chinese ambassador.
In response, Chinese Ambassador Hou said that ties between China and Nepal were cordial, and she would be working to further deepen it in the coming days.
"China is ready to support in Nepal's development needs as per the priorities of the Nepalese government," she said.
Noting that Nepal is an important partner country in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, the ambassador hoped that the country would reap benefits from it.