Koirala sure to visit China for Kunming expo

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu
Koirala sure to visit China for Kunming expo

Jun 1, 2014-

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has confirmed his participation in the second China-South Asia Expo being held in Kunming on June 6-10.

After getting a nod from Koirala, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expedited preparations on Sunday for the PM’s first China visit. Final decisions about the trip and the composition of the delegation, however, will be as determined by the Cabinet later.

As per the itinerary prepared by the ministry, Koirala will be a special guest in the inaugural session on June 6 of the exposition jointly organised by the Chinese Ministry of Trade and Commerce and the Yunan provincial government.

Nepal has been chosen as the country of honour at the event where Koirala will inaugurate the Nepali pavilion and address the fair expected to boost China’s trade ties with South Asia. According to Dinseh Bhattarai, PM’s foreign relations adviser, an official announcement of the visit will be made by Monday.

The south-east division at the ministry has almost completed the preparations. Another delegation led by Commerce Minister Sunil Bahadur Thapa is participating in the event too. Wang Yang, a Vice Premier of China, will inaugurate the event. Wang will call on Koirala and other participants from the Saarc region later in the day.

“The protocol division of the Foreign Ministry is preparing a programme for the PM’s participation,” said ministry spokesperson Deepak Dhital. The expo is an excellent platform for Nepal to seek ideas to reduce its growing trade deficit with China, he added. Li Jiheng, governor of Yunan Province, visited Nepal and met Koirala on March 24 to extend an invitation to the event.

Despite his interest in

visiting the northern neighbour, Koirala was in a dilemma whether to confirm his attendance without visiting India first as many Nepali prime ministers have traditionally done.

Koirala’s visit to New Delhi last week to attend the swearing-in of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paved the way for his China trip.

The prime minister and his team will reach Kunming on a special flight arranged by the Chinese side on June 5. The delegation will return the next day.

Published: 02-06-2014 11:27

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