Nepal-China finalise text on transit protocol

Sep 7, 2018-

Nepal and China have agreed and finalised the text of the much awaited Protocol to Nepal-China Transit and Transportation which will allow Nepal to use Chinese ports for third country trading.

As per the agreement reached during the third senior official-level meeting held in the Capital on September 4-6, Nepal can now trade with third countries using four of China’s sea ports and three dry-ports.

According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies following the agreement on Thursday, China has agreed to let Nepal use Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang open sea ports and Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse dry ports for trading with third countries.

The Nepali side was led by Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Rabi Shankar Sainju while Wang Shuiping, director general at the Department of Transport Services, led the nine-member Chinese delegation during the meet.

Eariler, on Tuesday, the Nepali and Chinese teams carried out the field visits of Kurintar in Chitwan where the proposed Nepal-China rail is expected to cross as well as a new north-south corridor is built. They examined the road condition and geography of the area.

During the second round of talks in Beijing, the Nepali side made a visit to Tianjin sea port and inspected the facilities there. The two sides made little headway during the talks held on July 10 and 11, with some technical issues acting as a roadblock.

However, with both nations agreeing and finalising the text of the transit protocol this time, Nepal’s long-standing dependency on Indian sea ports and using transit facilities for third country trade is likely to end.

Prime Minister KP Oli had signed the landmark Transit and Transportation Agreement during his first premiership in 2016.

Source: Kathmandu

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