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Nepali team departs for Lhasa to hold talks on TTA with China

By Source:Xinhua 2016-11-18

A high-level Nepalese government delegation departed Tuesday for Lhasa, China's Tibet Autonomous Region to hold talks with Chinese officials on finalizing the protocol of the Transit Transport Agreement (TTA), Nepal's Commerce Ministry said.

The bilateral meeting is scheduled to be held on November 16-19.

Nepalese Commerce Secretary Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya told Xinhua that the team was sent to Lhasa to prepare necessary groundwork for the protocol, which would help materialize the TTA.

After the signing of TTA in last March, it will be the first bilateral meeting regarding the development of protocol to the agreement.

During the visit of former Nepalese Prime Minister K.P Sharma Oli to China last March, the two nations signed the agreement to pave the way for either country to use each other's territory for third country trade.

However, the TTA is just a framework and is incomplete without the protocol. The protocol to the TTA will include details about customs arrangements, mode of transport, types of cargo and operational modality.

Nepal's third country trade is presently conducted only through Indian territory. The TTA with China allows the Himalayan country to transport its imports and exports via its neighbour's territory.

Sainju had told Xinhua last month that Nepal wanted to use transit facility through four to five border points between two countries to reach the China's two to three sea ports for conducting trade with third countries.

"We have not specifically mentioned border points and sea ports that we want to use in the draft of protocol we have sent to the Chinese side," he had said. "It will be concluded based on discussion between the two sides."

Nepalese experts say that an efficient transport network and simplified paperwork and information system will be essential to make practical use of the transit facility.

Nepal has signed transit agreement with India and Bangladesh, but has been able to use transit facility provided by India only so far. Enditem

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