KATHMANDU, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Nepali and Chinese private sectors agreed to hold the next meeting of Nepal-China Non-Governmental Cooperation Forum, a body formed by the private sectors of the two countries in 1996 to promote cooperation between the non-government sectors, in China's Sichuan province next year.
Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the apex private sector body of Nepal, stated in a press statement that a preparatory meeting between the two sides held in Kathmandu on Tuesday confirmed the tentative date, time and place of holding the next meeting. The FNCCI said that the meeting would be held in Sichuan province in September next year alongside the planned Western China International Expo there.
The FNCCI and All-China Federation of Industries and Commerce had established the forum and its meeting has already taken place 14 times over the last 23 years. The meeting is usually held every year in every alternative country.
According to the FNCCI, the preparatory meeting also fixed the tentative agenda for the meeting as per which the two sides will discuss expanding cooperation in the areas of tourism, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, construction and human resource development among others under the "Belt and Road Initiative". Nepal is one of the signatories of this initiative.
Chen Fang, vice-chairman of All China Federation of Industries and Commerce, who is also the chairman of Sichuan Provincial Federation of Industry and Commerce, led the Chinese delegation during the preparatory meeting, according to FNCCI.
"The 15th meeting of the forum to be held in Sichuan will be very important for us to attract more Chinese investment in Nepal because Chinese investors have been encouraged to invest in Nepal following the Nepal visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping last month," said Rabi Bhakta Shrestha, co-chairman of the forum told Xinhua on Tuesday.
FNCCI officials said that the two sides agreed during the preparatory meeting that there was a lot of potential for attracting more Chinese investment from China and particularly from Sichuan province although investment from this Chinese province has been growing in recent years.
In November 2017, Sichuan Provincial Investment Group Co. Ltd along with Chengdu Xingcheng Investment Group Co. Ltd and Qing Yuan Engineering Consulting Co. Ltd joined hands with Nepal's Butwal Power Company to develop at least 1000MW Hydropower Projects in Nepal. Sichuan Airlines conducts regular flights to Nepal.
"During the meeting on Tuesday, we also made a presentation about Nepal's tourism destinations to promote Visit Nepal Year 2020 and investment opportunities in Nepal's hydropower sector," Arun Shrestha, deputy director at the FNCCI.