Nepali team in China to finalise transit deal
By Our Reporter A Nepali delegation headed by Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Chandra Kumar Ghimire is now in Beijing to negotiate the terms of the Protocol to the NepalChina Transit Transport Agreement. Official talks between the two sides were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The Cabinet meeting last week took a decision to this effect, delegating the team the authority to sign the protocol to the agreement signed during Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's visit to China in 2016. After his return from his second official visit to China on June 24, PM Oli had publicly said that the protocol would be signed in July. Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport; Trade and Export Promotion Centre; and Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board are also included in the team. It was learnt that Nepal wanted the protocol to be very specific to avoid any need for further negotiations and agreements, but the draft protocol forwarded by the Chinese side was in broad terms. However, details about the progress made in the deal were not yet known here. The signing of the protocol was essential for the implementation of the Transit Transport Agreement which would provide Nepal access to Chinese sea port for thirdcountry trade. Nepal is presently using Kolkata port in India to export and import merchandise goods to and from third countries.