NEW PORT PAYS OFF LOCALLY
New facilities at the China Gyirong-Nepal Rasuwa Bilateral Port, which opened on Dec 1, are set to boost business between China and Nepal and benefit nearby residents.
The original Gyirong Port was built in 1962. Trade at the port began to drop off in the mid-1980s and continued to decline through 2006.
According to the government of the Tibet autonomous region, trade between China and Nepal has been increasing in recent years, and Khasa Port — Tibet’s largest land port — can no longer keep up with demand.
“Since 2008, preparatory projects to expand the port have been launched, including equipping the port with inspection and support services, the completion of Shyaphru Road and operation of the China-Nepal Friendship Bridge,” said Penpa, director of the region’s Department of Commerce.
“Operation of the port means a solid foundation for China to build the South Asia trading area, and it will help to promote trade between China and South Asian countries in the near future,” said Su Yuanming, director of the Port Administrative Office of Tibet. The revitalized port now employs 15 staff.
Wang Long, the director of Gyirong Customs, said the opening of the Lhasa-Xigaze Railway — an extension of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway — is a bridgehead and a new support for China to cooperate with South Asian countries.
“There will be an increase in the categories of products and the quantity of exported electronic products, and there will be a rise in trading volume as well,” Wang said.
From January through November, trade volume through Gyirong Port reached 1,600 metric tons with a total value of more than $4.52 million, almost double the value of the past three years combined, Wang said.
Gyirong port enjoys a bird’s-eye view of snow-capped mountains that make the Gyirong valley a hidden garden behind Mount Qomolangma.