China to fund Nepal’s new airport in Pokhara province

20 January 2016 (Last Updated January 20th, 2016 18:30)

China has agreed to provide $210m in loan for the construction of a new airport in the Pokhara province of Nepal.

China has agreed to provide $210m in loan for the construction of a new airport in the Pokhara province of Nepal.

China will additionally provide assistance to the South-Asian nation in developing Gautam Buddha Regional Airport in Lumbini, close to the India-Nepal border.

Nepalese Tourism Minister Ananda Prasad Pokharel was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that both the countries are working in partnership to develop and expand airports in Nepal so as to improve its air services and consequently the tourism sector.

"If Nepal has been able to develop its air service in a credible way, we would not have to face shortage of essential goods during blockade in the southern border."

Pokharel added: "If Nepal has been able to develop its air service in a credible way, we would not have to face shortage of essential goods during blockade in the southern border.

The proposed regional airport at Pokhara is expected to be completed within a span of four years within the date of signing the deal.

Meanwhile, the upgrade of Gautam Buddha Regional Airport, which currently has a 3,000-metre runway, is expected to meet the demands of the increasing traffic as the location has the potential to draw a number of Buddhist pilgrims.

Earlier, media reports had emerged about Nepal planning to approach Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), in which China has a majority share, to seek support for its infrastructure projects.

China currently supports a number of infrastructure worldwide in countries including Maldives and Kenya.