Nepal-China transit talks to begin in Lhasa today
By Post Report
16 November 2016

KATHMANDU (The Kathmandu Post/ANN) -  The meeting is expected to pave the way for Nepal to use the Chinese land to conduct third-country trade.

A high-level Nepali delegation left for Lhasa, China on Tuesday for a meeting with the Chinese side on draft protocol on Transit Transport Agreement (TTA), the Commerce Ministry said in a statement. The meeting, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, is expected to pave the way for Nepal to use the Chinese land to conduct third-country trade.

The Nepali team led by Joint Secretary at the Commerce Ministry Ravi Shanker Sainju includes representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Law Ministry, the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the Department of Customs and Nepal Intermodal Transport Committee.

The protocol, once signed, will give Nepal access to the Chinese land for third-country trade. Nepal had forwarded a draft protocol to China five months ago.

The TTA was signed during then PM KP Sharma Oli’s visit to China in March. However, it has not yet been implemented due to absence of the protocol.

A protocol is generally a treaty or an international agreement that supplements a previous treaty or agreement. The protocol on the TTA includes details on points of entry, customs arrangement, modes of transport, types of cargo, transhipment procedures and operational modality as a whole.

The draft of the protocol prepared by the Commerce Ministry has identified rail and road as two major modes of transport for transportation of goods. It has also identified five possible border crossings-Kerung, Korala, Kimathanka, Hilsa and Tatopani-from where cargoes will be transported to third countries via China or brought into Nepal. 

The ministry has even identified four ports in China that could be used for Nepal’s third-country trade.

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