CommMin to prepare draft of transit treatyThe Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday announced that it would be drafting a transit treaty in the next 100 days as it wants to sign deals with other neighbouring countries, particularly China, so that Nepal will have more route options.
The Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday announced that it would be drafting a transit treaty in the next 100 days as it wants to sign deals with other neighbouring countries, particularly China, so that Nepal will have more route options.
Nepal presently has a transit treaty only with India, and it has been using Indian territory to conduct trade with third countries. Since India imposed a blockade against Nepal disrupting its foreign trade, the government has been looking for alternative transit routes to prevent such crises in the future.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa had discussed signing a transit agreement with Chinese politicians and officials during his recent visit to China. As per the eight-point agreement signed with the northern neighbour, inter-governmental mechanisms will be formed to advance negotiations on the proposals on free trade areas, transit and the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (Bippa).
“A draft transit treaty will be prepared with an eye on signing an agreement mainly with China,” said a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce. “We will also explore the possibility of signing transit treaties with other countries including Bangladesh.”
Nepal has asked Bangladesh for its approval to use its port for trade with third countries. This is one of the items on the agenda of the bilateral discussion going on between the two countries at the Commerce Ministry-level as they are moving towards providing easier market access to each other’s products. Bangladesh has submitted a draft operation guideline for the transportation of cargo by Nepali container truck to its Mangla Port. In return, Bangladesh has sought permission for their vehicles to operate in Nepal. The Commerce Ministry also announced on Tuesday that it would work to hold commerce secretary-level talks with Bangladesh in the next 100 days to finalize various trade facilitation issues including easier market access. The ministry will also prepare a draft of the free trade agreement to sign with neighbouring countries.