Gorkhatimes

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China urged to support infrastructures development

Posted by Ramesh Khati on September 8, 2009

KATHMANDU, Sept 7(MYREPUBLICA): Nepal has urged China, which is trying to increase its focus on country´s infrastructure sector, to support the development of trade related infrastructure, including roads and inland container deports (ICDs), to facilitate bilateral trade.

The government has strongly pushed the trading partner in the north to expedite the process of finalizing long-promised duty-concessions facility for Nepali goods as soon as possible.

Senior officials at the Commerce Ministry pushed for zero duty facility and trade facilitation support during their recent meeting with senior Chinese officials, including Chief of People´s Government of Tibet Chamba Phuntsok, in Shighatse. The meeting was held during the Nepal-China Trade Fair, which kicked off on September 3 and is concluding on Monday.

According to a government source, the Chinese side was positive about supporting Nepal to build ICD in Tatopani and upgrading and constructing new roads connecting the two countries. The northern neighbor, however, did not divulge much on pledging duty-free market entry for Nepali goods in Tibet and other Chinese markets, the source added.“

“We discussed on ways to expand bilateral trade, with special emphasis on giving impetus to Nepal´s exports to Tibet and mainland China,” Commerce Secretary Purushottam Ojha told myrepublica.com.

During the meeting, Nepali side had mainly raised concerns over widening trade deficit with China, which has crossed over Rs 16 billion. Highlighting hindrances in its exports growth, the Nepali side strongly requested the Chinese team to live up to its commitment by providing duty concessions for Nepal at the earliest.

China had agreed to provide zero tariff facility for Nepali goods about a couple of years ago. As per the Chinese commitment, Nepal has already exchanged a list of over 200 product lines for tariff concessions. However, China has not responded positively on the list. Two sides are yet to hold negotiations on the issue.

The two sides have agreed to form a Nepal-Tibet Trade Facilitation Committee soon to address problems that Nepali traders are frequently facing due to poor information dissemination from the Chinese side. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two sides, joint secretary of commerce ministries of both the countries will lead the committee. The committee will hold regular meetings to resolve recurring problems and work on giving momentum to bilateral trade.

According to officials, a total of 200 delegates from the two countries, including private sector representatives, attended the fair. Sixty of the nearly 200 stalls at the fair belonged to the Nepali entrepreneurs.

Nepal mainly showcased items such as handicraft products, horticulture products and juices, fast moving consumer goods, construction materials, garment, carpet, agro-produces and food items, among others.

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