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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2861

China 'positive' to provide duty free access for 497 Nepali goods

Kosh Raj Koirala – Asian Tribune Correspondent in Nepal

Kathmandu, 19 April, ( China has said that it is ‘positive’ about providing duty free access to 497 Nepali goods available in Chinese market.

During a visit of Nepali Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav, the northern neighbor also announced to increase its annual aid to Nepal, from RMB 100 million to RMB 150 million (Rs 1.75 billion).

The Chinese offers are aimed at bridging the widening trade deficit between the two countries.

The Sino-Nepal trade volume currently stands at $4,010 million. While the giant neighbor sells goods worth about $386 million, Nepal is struggling with the export of a mere $15 million. Talking to media persons upon his arrival in Kathmandu from China on Saturday, Foreign Minister Yadav said that China was ‘positive’ about providing duty free access to 497 goods to help reduce the trade deficit between the two countries.

Nepal exports edible goods such as oil, flour and food spices, and jewelry to Tibet through its surface routes, while importing wool, electric goods and manufactured items from Tibet. The country also trades with China through the seaport of Kolkata in eastern India.

Various issues of mutual interests including infrastructure development, tourism promotion, issue related to improving connectivity between the two countries and ongoing peace process in Nepal figured in the talks between the two sides.

"The current load-shedding problem faced by Nepal also came up in the talks, and China is positive about increasing investment in Nepal’s hydropower sector," said Yadav.

Meanwhile, a delegation of CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal left for China on an official visit. The team includes the party’s Vice Chairman Ashok Rai, Secretary Yubaraj Gyawali and central committee members Surendra Pandey and Raghuji Pant.

CPN-UML is a key ally in the Maoist-led government and the third largest party in the 601-member Constituent Assembly. There have been flurry of visits of Nepali leaders especially after
the formation of Maoist-led government in August last. The China has been praising Nepal’s efforts to curb anti-China protests being held in Nepal.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is also scheduled to make official visit to China in the first week of May.

- Asian Tribune -

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