Kathmandu and Chengdu ink deal to become sister cities

Commonalities between Kathmandu and Chengdu will be promoted. Pic: Hakat/Shutterstock

NEPAL’S capital city, Kathmandu, and the capital of China’s Sichuan province, Chengdu, have officially signed a sister city agreement.

In 2015, Nepal and China had agreed on having sister city relations between the two cities to explore commonalities in culture and geography. The new relations will also promote people-to-people exchanges.

The idea to bind the two cities came about at the end of 2015 when Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Tang Liangzhi, unofficially proposed the idea to executive director of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Rudra Singh Tamang.

Tamang said, “This concept of sister city relationship is another milestone in enhancing our bilateral ties, especially among people of two cities.

“The two cities will complement each other on various fields like tourism promotion, capacity development, infrastructure, and information and communications as per the need.”

He also expressed that the new relations will pave the way for economic cooperation and development projects.

Meanwhile, Tang said, “Chengdu is an economic center enriched with science and technology and advancements in information and communication while Kathmandu is a hub for politics, economics and culture.”

Tang added that both cities have found common interests in areas such as water supply treatment, energy, finance, and urban management.

Reports showed that from January to October 2016, the total value of import and export activities between the two cities reached US$5.8 million.

Dr. Rajesh Kazi Shrestha, President of Nepal China Chamber of Commerce and Industry told Xinhua, “Chengdu is a very big market so we have high business opportunities. Our trading deficit is quite high as we are highly dependent upon imports.

“So, we need to focus on trade, investment and tourism that can benefit not just Kathmandu, but both the cities.”

According to a report in Gochengdu, the two cities will also work together to promote tourism given that there are 12 flights weekly between them.

Nirajan Tiwari, a Nepali tourism entrepreneur and owner of Nimi Travels and Tours told Xinhua, “As we receive huge number of tourists from Sichuan province, especially Chengdu, we are hopeful that this new bonding will attract [a higher] number of Chinese to Nepal.”

Presently, Nepal’s Pokhara and China’s Kunming established sister city relations to promote cultural similarities through connectivity, tourism, and exchange of high-level visits and research.