HONG KONG, Oct 11: The Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (APECF) and Britain-based Vertical Theme Park (VTP) Group have inked a deal on developing Nepal´s Lumbini as an international peace city.
APEC had last year made public a three billion dollar project on developing the birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha.
VTP Group that has a long experience in development and management of big projects is run by realtors close to the United Kingdom´s royal family members.
" VTP Global Special Project Team has signed an agreement on developing Lumbini as an international religious destination," the VTP Group has stated on its website on September 13. As per the deal, VTP would work as the main development manager of the project.
Also, Xiao Wunan, executive vice-chairman of APECF, upon his arrival in Hong Kong told Republica that they have reached the deal after a series of discussions with officials from VTP group.
"VTP group was keenly observing the Lumbini project for the last one year. The group wants to apply the western concept and role in the project," said Wunan.
VTP group is a renowned international company, which has built towers, city centers and tourism destinations. The group is already working on a design of Lumbini Cloud Tower to be built as an "International Symbol of Buddhist Philosophy" in the northern side of the Lumbini Village.
"In London, the APECF delegation had an in-depth exchange with VTP Group regarding the Lumbini project and signed MoU with the company.
Subsequently the APECF delegation held a discussion with Eric Kuhne, the designer of Lumbini Cloud Tower, and both sides reached consensus," the APECF stated on its website.
Last year, the APECF had announced to have reached an agreement with the UN´s Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on developing Lumbini as an international peace city.
But later, the deal was dragged into controversy as the government of Nepal said it had received no notification in this connection.
APECF´s involvement in the proposed Lumbini project drew political attention as well because UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is co-chairman of the foundation and is actively involved in the Lumbini development project.