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Nepal seeking access to China’s land, sea ports

Kathmandu [Nepal]: Nepal is seeking access to two land and three sea ports in China and is set to propose the plan to Beijing for enhancing connectivity with Europe.

The Ministry of Commerce has prepared a draft and sent it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) for consultation, reports the Kathmandu Post.

The proposal will soon be put on the table at a meeting to be held in Kathmandu for formulating a protocol on the Transit Transport Agreement (TTA), which was signed with China in March last year during then prime minister K. P. Sharma Oli’s visit to Beijing.

Presently, Nepal conducts trade with third countries only through India, but the protocol, which is key to actualisation of the treaty, will allow t to conduct trade with third countries through China as well.

“This is purely based on our interest and will be put on the table at a meeting to be held in the near future. The proposal will be negotiated with the Chinese side,” the Kathmandu Post quoted Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary Ravi Shanker Sainju, as saying.

According to the report, Nepal is also seeking access to Iran via China as Yiwu in Zhejiang province of China has opened a 10,399-km freight train route to Iran through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Apart from this, China has several freight rail routes directly reaching Europe.

Nepal is also a signatory of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR). (ANI)