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Nepal urges China to reopen trading points

Nepal urges China to reopen trading points

Kathmandu: With transportation problems escalating along the Indo-Nepal border, Kathmandu is mulling an alternative to do business with Beijing. Amid a diplomatic standoff with New Delhi, Nepal has urged China to reopen the two trading points on the Sino-Nepal border at the earliest, media persons reported on Friday.

As nationals from both the countries do not need visa to travel to each other’s country, Nepal’s over 90 per cent trade and economic activities are with India.

Nepali media reports claimed on Friday that the government has insisted China to reopen trade routes that were rendered non-functional following the devastating earthquake on April 25. Nepal is facing a dearth of essential goods as supplies have been adversely affected due to disturbances at major custom points in the southern plains of the country.

Meanwhile, officials from the ministry of commerce and supplies of Nepal held talks with Chinese embassy officials on Wednesday and Thursday. They requested Chinese assistance for an early reopening of custom points at Tatopani and Rasuwagadhi, two key trading points between Nepal and China.

 

“With major festivals like Diwali and Dussehra around the corner, we have requested China to resume border operation as soon as possible,” said Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya, secretary at the ministry. China responded positively, he added.

A meeting of the Central Monitoring Committee of Nepal on Thursday also decided to ask China for speedy road repair in Kerung (Rasuwagadhi).The meeting also decided to coordinate with the ministry of physical infrastructure and transport to clear roadblocks on the Araniko highway in order to request the Chinese side to reopen the Tatopani customs point.

The move comes at the time when supplies from India have been affected by strikes in the Tarai region for the past 40 days.

Moreover, stricter customs clearance and other delays reportedly from the Indian side following the promulgation of Nepal’s new constitution have intensified the problem.

The current food stock in Nepal is expected to last two months, according to the government sources.

(Anil Giri, IANS)

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