From 17 to 20 November 2023, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Cities Project and officials from Gurbhakot, Nepal undertook a field visit to Nanjing, China. The visit was at the invitation of the Southeast University of China (SEU).
Gurbhakot Municipality, located in Surkhet District, Karnali Province of Nepal, is an agricultural region with abundant rainfall and warmth. Aiming to promote local economic development, the UNOSSC Cities Project leveraged the expertise of SEU to design an agro-industrial park in Gurbhakot Municipality. Prior to this on-site visit, several online exchanges between Nanjing and Gurbhakot have been hosted with the support of UNDP Nepal.
On 17 November, Cities Project and Gurbhakot delegation met with the research team from the School of Architecture at SEU, which specializes in industrial park planning for cities in developing countries. Officials from Gurbhakot presented on the challenges faced by local agricultural sector and shared expectations for the project. The SEU team, in turn, briefed the meeting on project progress.
From 18 to 19 November, the delegation attended the 2023 Conference on Development Zone Transformation and City Innovation. The event, with a spotlight on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), drew over 240 representatives from academia, local governments, private sector, and UN agencies, including UN-Habitat, UNIDO and UNESCO. The conference fostered dialogue on inclusive and sustainable zone development from the Global South.
Mayor of Gurbhakot, Nepal spoke at the Roundtable Forum and introduced the city’s challenges and opportunities. The forum served as a platform for engaging conversations on the impact of BRI on industrial park development, the potential for international cooperation in urban development and planning, and others.
On 20 November, the delegation had a meeting with Nanjing Foreign Affairs Office to forge synergies between the two cities and explore future exchange opportunities. Facilitated by the office, field trips were organized from 19 to 20 November, including visits to Nanjing Agricultural Products Logistics Center, Nanjing Agricultural High-tech Industry Demonstration Zone, and the BaiMa Teaching and Research Base of Nanjing Agricultural University.
The observations and learning from the field trips provided Gurbhakot officials with a comprehensive understanding of agricultural park planning and value chain development, spanning from logistics in agro-industrial parks to green and smart agriculture practices, agricultural capacity training, and international collaborative research and technology transfer.
About the South-South Cities Clusters
The UNOSSC Cities Project seeks to promote South-South and Triangular Cooperation at the city and local levels. The South-South Cities Clusters are part of the South-South Galaxy virtual platform that facilitates information sharing, knowledge exchange, networking, and project collaboration among cities, local authorities, UN agencies, and other development partners. Currently, it offers interactive thematic spaces on:
- COVID-19 Response and Public Health
- Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in Resilient Cities
- Sustainable Tourism, Heritage Protection and Creative Economy
- Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain Development
- E-Commerce, Digitization and Smart Cities
- Sustainable Transport and Air Quality
- Waste Management, Green Cities and Renewable Energy