May 9: Standard Chartered Bank’s first ever global Belt and Road Relay which runs across forty-four markets within a 90-day period reached Kathmandu on Wednesday, May 8. According to the bank, the relay kicked off in Hong Kong on February 17 in conjunction with the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon and will end in China.
The bank said in a statement that the employees of Standard Chartered Bank, Nepal joined the eight staff athletes selected from the bank’s diverse footprint in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas in a 5-kilometre run at the Armed Police Force Stadium, Halchowk. Nepal is the 43rd market in the B&R Relay.
Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Nepal Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar said, “The Belt and Road Initiative is core to Standard Chartered Bank as our footprints cover two-thirds of Belt and Road markets. I’m really optimistic and excited about the initiative as it is very strategic to Nepal as a country. Globally, the bank is involved in more than 50 Belt and Road deals worth more than USD 10 billion across a range of products and services.”
Belt and Road Initiative is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure projects and investments in countries in Europe, Asia and Africa to enhance global connectivity. It covers more than 60 countries to address infrastructure gap and accelerate economic growth. In 2017, Standard Chartered Bank committed additional financing for the Belt and Road projects of at least USD 20 billion by 2020.