Nepal-China finalize landmark Transit Protocol

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Kathmandu, Sep 7 (IANS) In a major breakthrough, Nepal and China have finalised the text of the much-awaited protocol of Nepal-China Transit and Transportation Agreement that will allow Nepal to use Chinese ports for third-country trade.

In the wake of Indian blockade nearly two years back, Prime Minister K.P. Oli had signed Transit and Transpiration Agreement with Beijing in 2016, ending Nepal’s long dependence on using Indian sea ports for the third country trade and business.

With this agreement, Nepal’s dependence on India for third-country trading would end, resulting in Nepal facilitating its trade through Chinese seas and land ports.

In the protocol agreed during the third senior official-level meeting held in Kathmandu on Friday, China has agreed to grant access to Nepal to its four seaports and three dry-ports for trading with third countries.

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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 seaports and Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse dry ports for trading with third countries.

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

Both sides have agreed to sign the protocol after completing their respective internal procedure before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit expected next year.

–IANS

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