H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have brought to you all warm greetings and best wishes from the Government and people of Nepal, the land of Buddha and Sagarmatha, the highest peak on earth.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to H.E. Xi Jinping for the kind invitation to attend this important event and for the warm hospitality accorded to us. I would also like to congratulate the Government and people of China on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The world today is at the cusp of profound transformation. In many parts of the world, poverty has been reduced, access to health and education has become easier, and many economies are heading towards prosperity. The unprecedented scale of technological revolution has opened a vista of possibilities.
Those achievements would have been impossible were it not for cooperation.
Those gains would have been unthinkable were it not for collaboration.
However, the new as well as old challenges are conspicuous. The distribution of wealth is strikingly uneven. Promises of development have not yielded for many. Millions of people are still trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty.
The very foundation of cooperation and collaboration is facing scepticism. Protectionism and isolationist tendencies have surfaced.
Such regressive response will not only jeopardize the hard-earned gains, but also be unjust for future generations.
We have to acknowledge that the existence of poverty in any corner of the world can be a threat to the whole world.
Therefore, proliferation of several challenges calls for more collaboration, not less.
Unfinished pursuit of development calls for more cooperation, not less.
The quest for brighter and better future calls for more connectivity, not less.
Asia is a powerhouse of the world economy. For the future of global prosperity, the region is well poised to play a pivotal role. A region with many rich civilizations, Asia’s future should be that of inclusivity and partnership.
The far-sighted vision of President Xi to build a community of shared future for mankind through Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) carries a huge potential. It is an important framework for collaboration, for cooperation and for connectivity.
Mutual efforts for mutual benefit; inclusive development for fair and equitable world order; and the green development for the good health of the people and planet embody its spirit.
It lays emphasis on boosting connectivity, developing infrastructure, connecting markets and enhancing cooperation among the nations in diverse sectors in the region and beyond.
It promotes openness in place of isolation, cooperation in place of confrontation and win-win cooperation in place of zero-sum game.
Vis-à-vis the huge resource gap in global level, BRI can play an instrumental role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
And, BRI is the engine for prosperous future where not a single country is excluded from the fruit of development.
For a landlocked country like Nepal, connectivity is of paramount importance in its socio-economic development. With enhanced connectivity, vast opportunities for trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people relations will open up.
The development of ‘Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network’, including Nepal-China Cross-Border Railway, will boost connectivity not only between Nepal and China but other countries in the region.
After a prolonged political transition Nepal has achieved political stability. Our objective ahead is to bring about visible transformation in the living standard of our people.
Our national aspiration is guided by the motto ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. Our immediate goal is to graduate from LDC status. We intend to become a middle-income country by achieving the Sustainable Development Goals well before 2030.
We would like to enhance bilateral as well as multilateral collaboration and cooperation with neighbours, other friendly countries including development partners to overcome our development challenges.
To conclude, while expressing firm conviction that the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be successful in building up our concerted efforts for a just, fair, equitable, inclusive and rules-based world order for lasting global peace and prosperity, I would like to express my best wishes for the grand success of this Forum.