Nepal and China to hold bilateral trade talks

Kathmandu, August 18

The Nepal-China commerce joint secretary-level talks, which is known as Nepal-China’s Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee (NTTFC) will be held here on August 21 and 22, to discuss and resolve the numerous problems related to trade and transport in a bid to boost bilateral trade.

Nepal, in the meeting, will request the Chinese delegation to simplify the process of duty-free quota-free (DFQF) facility extended by China for 8,030 Nepali goods on all tariff lines. Nepal will also urge China to reduce the non-tariff barriers that have hurt Nepali exports to the Chinese market.

Apart from this, Nepal will separately deal with the issues that have surfaced during the implementation of Citrus Fruit Trade Agreement, Industrial Goods Inspection Agreement and quarantine-related issues during the export of agricultural products from Nepal to China.

As the meeting is going to be held in the wake of the devastating earthquake of April 25, the recovery of earthquake inflicted damages in trade and transport infrastructure is also in priority. According to officials of the Ministry of the Commerce and Supplies (MoCS), who are privy to the NTTFC meeting, Nepal will request the Chinese side to start operations at the Zhangmu (Tatopani) and Jilong (Rasuwagadhi) border points and early construction of Larcha (Tatopani) inland container depot (ICD) and frontier inspection station of ICD Timure (Rasuwagadhi).

The meeting will also discuss on opening new routes for bilateral trade. Poraag (China)-Yari of Humla (Nepal), Riwa (China)-Olangchung Gola of Taplejung (Nepal), Penan (China)-Jumla (Nepal) routes have been under discussion since 2012.

Likewise, Nepal will talk about working hour harmonisation at the Rasuwa-Jilong and Tatopani-Khasa check points.

As per MoCS officials, the Chinese side has sent its agenda that includes reducing administrative charges at the border point of Nepal for the Chinese side, promotion of service trade, and promotion of China Tibet-Nepal Economic and Trade Fair, 2015, among others.

The sixth meeting of NTTFC will also talk about forming an intergovernmental committee or commerce secretary level joint mechanism between the two countries.

The Chinese delegation led by Caidan Najie, deputy secretary general of the commerce ministry of China will hold meeting with his Nepali counterpart Jib Raj Koirala, joint secretary of MoCS.