Trans-Himalaya forum hails BRI co-operation

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) – Event helps boost the region's partnership with participating countries.

An international forum on Trans-Himalaya co-operation and exchanges was held in Nyingchi, in the Tibet autonomous region, on Tuesday.

Surrounded by picturesque forests and magnificent snow-capped peaks, the forum was held in the city’s Lulang township, dubbed China’s Switzerland, some 400 kilometres from the region’s capital Lhasa.

The one-day event hosted guests from Nepal, Pakistan, Mongolia and Myanmar to discuss co-operation between Tibet and the participating countries under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

With the theme of Trans-Himalaya Connectivity, the forum is expected to help the region push forward efforts to become an important gateway to South Asia and to build the Trans-Himalaya economic zone to fully integrate it into the Belt and Road Initiative.

Jiang Jie, executive deputy chairman of the regional government, said Tibet, serving as a vital passageway to South Asian countries, has actively integrated itself into BRI construction. It not only continues to develop its traditional friendship, trade and cultural exchanges with neighbouring countries, it has also taken steps to promote mutual benefits and foster further collaboration in the region.

“We will strengthen the connectivity of ports, highways, railways and airports and encourage more airlines to open more routes to jointly build a Trans-Himalaya connectivity network and deepen co-operation in the areas of trade, tourism, investment and livelihood,” Jiang said.

Gobinda Bahadur Karkee, consul-general of Nepal in Lhasa, said Nepal and China are friendly neighbours linked by mountains, rivers and culture. He added that China is Nepal’s second largest trading partner, and the volume of trade between the nations has been steadily growing.

“However, Nepal’s trade deficit with China has also been growing,” he said, adding in order to reduce Nepal’s trade deficit with China, Nepal needs more favorable policies and technical assistance from China.

Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi, Pakistan’s ambassador to China, said as one of the earliest proponents of the Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan has always supported China and like-minded countries in strengthening international connectivity.

“People-to-people exchanges and contacts are a key component of the Belt and Road and provide the sustainable foundation for international connectivity,” she said. “The goodwill between the peoples of Pakistan and China is the firm bedrock of the unshakable Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Co-operative Partnership for a Shared Future in the New Era.

“To enhance this vital aspect of our co-operation, Pakistan and China are celebrating 2019 as the year of Sister-City Exchanges.”

Damdinsuren Davaasuren, state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, said that although Mongolia does not belong to the Himalayan region in a physical and spiritual sense, Mongolia feels closest to the region historically and culturally.

“We are delighted for the prosperous development of our eternal neighbour, the People’s Republic of China, for its substantial contribution to the development and policymaking of the region, continent and the world,” said Davaasuren, adding that the people of Mongolia highly value the achievements of China’s development.

“Mongolia aims to actively participate in the projects to be implemented within the Belt and Road Initiative and take its part in the development of the region and the world,” Davaasuren said.

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