The International Trade Council recognizes Nepal's accomplishment in successfully importing its first batch of goods via a transit arrangement with China. The transaction took place on September 7, 2023, in Kathmandu, Nepal, and marks a significant development in Nepal-China trade relations.
The imported shipment consisted of 15 tons of turmeric powder from Vietnam. The goods were transported to Kathmandu via the Tianjin port in northern China, utilizing the Zhangmu-Tatopani border point. Madhu Kumar Marasini, Secretary of Nepal's Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, and Chen Song, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, were present at the commencement ceremony to celebrate this milestone.
Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini stated, "The activation of the first batch of goods under the Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement signals a transformative phase towards broader economic collaboration, increased trade activity, and mutual prosperity." He emphasized the importance of the 2016 transit transport agreement and the 2019 protocol as instrumental in potentially reshaping Nepal's trading landscape.
The transit arrangement enhances Nepal's trading capabilities by offering an alternative route for imports and exports, thereby lessening its dependence on existing transit pathways. Traditionally, landlocked Nepal has primarily relied on India for third-country trade. This inaugural shipment reached Nepal within two weeks, highlighting the efficiency of the transit route.
According to Ambassador Chen Song, the transit arrangement allows Nepal access to several Chinese ports including Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang, Zhanjiang, as well as transit hubs like Lanzhou, Lhasa, and Shigatse. "The activation of the China-Nepal transit agreement is expected to diversify Nepal’s international trade portfolio and facilitate global trade relations," said Chen.
The International Trade Council commends this initiative and its potential to provide more flexible and efficient trading options for Nepal. Future advancements in infrastructure and the opening of additional border points are anticipated to further streamline trade activities, reducing both time and costs.