Tatopani border | China | BRI investments
A shipment containing 15 metric tonnes of turmeric powder imported from Vietnam arrived at the Tatopani border point via China’s Tianjin Port on September 6.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song posted the news on his ‘X’ account (formerly Twitter) last week confirming the import from a third country via China.
With this, the Transit and Transport Agreement, signed between Nepal and China in March 2016, secured a breakthrough after more than seven years of its signing, also unlocking the possibility of third-country trade via China.
The agreement was followed by the signing of the protocol in September 2018 which allowed Nepal to use four Chinese seaports — Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang, and Zhanjiang; and three dry ports — Lanzhou, Lhasa, and Shigatse.
However, earlier China had closed the Tatopani border point unilaterally for over seven years following the 2015 earthquake. The border point was reopened for cross-border trade on May 1 this year.
Earlier on September 2, Ambassador Song addressed a public event where he remarked that India’s policy toward Nepal and other neighbours was not so friendly which he saw as constraints in Nepal’s economic policymaking. Many in the Nepali diplomatic circle deemed the remark undiplomatic.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to land in China on September 23 for an official visit, where he is expected to discuss multiple bilateral issues relating to border points, trade with and via China, BRI investments, and energy cooperation.
In other news, Himalayan Airlines, a joint venture airline between Nepal’s Yeti World Investment Pvt. Ltd. and China’s Tibetan Civil Aviation Development & Investment Company Ltd. (TCADIC), launched its first flight from Kathmandu to Qingdao on September 10. The weekly flight service will supposedly contribute to the growth of Nepal’s tourism sector.
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