China for conducting field study to reopen TatopaniChina has proposed to form a Nepal-China joint committee to carry out a field study to reopen the Tatopani customs point that has remained closed since being damaged by the 2015 earthquake.
China has proposed to form a Nepal-China joint committee to carry out a field study to reopen the Tatopani customs point that has remained closed since being damaged by the 2015 earthquake.
The northern neighbour expressed willingness to reopen the trade route during the eighth Nepal-China Tibet Trade Facilitation Committee meeting held in Kathmandu on Thursday and Friday. Nepal urged China to reopen the trade route during a joint-secretary level meet.
After the closure of the Tatopani border crossing, the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung route north of Kathmandu became the main conduit for trade with the northern neighbour. On a normal day, 50-70 containers pass over the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung route. However, traders using the route face various difficulties due to the tough terrain and natural disasters like landslides triggered by rain and snow during the winter.
Rabi Shankar Sainju, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, said they had made opening the Tatopani trade route one of the main items on the agenda for bilateral talks. “We asked the Chinese side to address the issue as soon as possible because closure of the route has hit bilateral trade,” Sainju said.
The Nepal-China Tibet Trade Facilitation Committee is a mechanism formed to promote trade between Nepal and China’s Tibet region. It also also works to settle bilateral trade issues. The committee is supposed to meet every year, but the last meeting was held in Lhasa, Tibet in 2016. Besides reopening the Tatopani border point, Nepal also urged China to complete the construction of the dry port in Tatopani soon. As per the Commerce Ministry, China has completed the construction of a river embankment at the site.
Allowing free movement of Nepali truck drivers on the Rasuwagadhi-Kerung trade route, providing recognition to quarantine checks carried out in Nepal and setting up a high level customs check point at Korala and starting the construction of dry ports at six trading points on the Nepal-China border are among the demands put forward by the Nepali side during the bilateral trade talks.
Meanwhile, China expressed its interest in establishing a Nepal-China Tibet Tourism Cultural Industrial Park and Nepal-China Tibet Friendship Industrial Park in Nepal with the aim of boosting trade in industrial goods. “We have asked for a concept note to discuss the proposal at a higher level,” Sainju said.
According to the ministry, the Chinese side also expressed its interest in exporting petroleum products to Nepal. “They also sought Nepal’s consent to allow the import of live animals from Nepal, promote both countries’ goods through trade fairs and set up cross-border economic cooperation zones along the Nepal-China border,” ministry officials said.
High-level team to iron out kinks
KATHMANDU: A high-level team is slated to leave for Beijing on Saturday to discuss with Chinese officials the protocol to the Transit and Transportati-on Agreement signed during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s first visit to China two years ago.
The eight-member delegation led by Commerce Secretary Chandra Kumar Ghimire will hold talks with officials of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in Beijing on July 10 and 11 to iron out the kinks in the protocol prepared by the two sides.