Nepal imports 1st batch of goods under transit arrangement with China
KATHMANDU, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Nepal has shipped its first batch of imported goods under the transit arrangement with China, a move that "represents the dawn of a new era" in bilateral trade relations, as a Nepali official put it on Thursday.
Fifteen tons of turmeric powder was imported from Vietnam and brought to the Nepali capital of Kathmandu on the day via the Tianjin port in northern China and the Zhangmu-Tatopani border point.
"The commencement of the first batch of goods under the Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement represents the dawn of a new era in our trade relations," said Madhu Kumar Marasini, secretary of Nepal's ministry of industry, commerce and supplies.
"It signifies the beginning of a transformative journey toward enhanced economic cooperation, increased trade volumes and shared prosperity," the secretary said at the commencement ceremony.
He spoke highly of the transit transport agreement signed in 2016 and the subsequent protocol signed in 2019, saying they have "the potential to bring about profound changes in our trade landscape."
The transit arrangement "provides us with a crucial alternative trade route and diversifies our trade options, reducing our reliance on a single transit route," Marasini said.
As a landlocked country, Nepal has been mostly relying on India for trading with third countries.
"By using Tianjin port, goods was transported to the Tatopani port within two weeks," noted Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song.
Under the transit deals, China allows Nepal to use Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang as well as Lanzhou, Lhasa and Shigatse to handle traffic-in-transit.
"The China-Nepal transit transport agreement has been put into practice. I hope it will diversify Nepal's international trade and facilitate Nepal's trade with the whole world," Chen said at the commencement ceremony.
"In the future, after opening more border ports and improving the roads and infrastructure, I believe the time and cost of importing and exporting goods via China will be further reduced, which will have a positive impact on Nepal's trade," added the ambassador.