Monday, December 9, 2013

China expedites efforts for implementation of Rasuwagadhi dry port

KATHMANDU, Dec 8: China has expedited the process to materialize the construction of dry port in Rasuwagadhi along Nepal"s northern border.

Responding to Nepal"s request, the Chinese government had agreed to upgrade trade infrastructure to support Nepal-China trade.

A high-level Chinese technical team recently completed on-site visit of the proposed construction site at Rasuwagadhi - the second largest customs in the north.

“The technical team of the Chinese government has already inspected the proposed construction site. It will submit its report to its government soon,” a source told Republica on Sunday. “The team has also sought additional information about the proposed site.”

After the on-site inspection, the team sought information on climatic condition, road connectivity, electricity facility, landscape and the prospect of town development near the proposed site.

“We have designated Nepal Inter-modal Transport Development Board (NITDB), the state-owned body that has been overseeing operation of dry ports, to provide necessary details to the Chinese team,” added the source.

In an effort to speed up talks with Nepali officials on modality of implementation of the dry port, another high level Chinese team is arriving Nepal on December 15.

“We have scheduled a meeting with the team on December 16. In the meeting, we will discuss on ways to implement the proposed dry port project,” said the source.

The delegation led by Zhou Hui, deputy director general of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China, is scheduled to meet officials of MoCS, customs department, immigration department and NITDB.

Traders have long been blaming weak trade infrastructure as one of the major bottlenecks for trade with China.

The proposed dry port is to be constructed near the 111-MW Rasuwagadhi hydropower project which is being developed inside Langtang National Park.

China had agreed to support Nepal in upgrading four dry ports in major customs points in the north, including Rasuwagadhi, during the Nepali visit of the then Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in January 2012.

Under the agreement on "Management of Ports in the China-Nepal Border", China has agreed to strengthen Pular-Yari, Jilong-Rasuwa, Zangmu-Kodari, and Riwu-Olangchug Gola border crossings.

Though Nepal shares half a dozen border passes with the northern neighbor, only Tatopani customs has been utilized effectively for bilateral trade.

If the Rasuwagadhi dry port plan takes off, it will be the second such infrastructure in northern part of the country. The first dry port in northern part of the country is being constructed at Larcha of Sindhupalchowk with the Chinese support.

Published on 2013-12-08 13:38:28

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