Govt starts fresh process to procure medical supplies from China

Published On: April 6, 2020 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 6: After cancelling the previous deal with the controversial Omni Group, the government has initiated the process of a commercial demand with the Chinese government to procure necessary medical equipment and other logistics through the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing.

In a joint interview with Nepali media on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce is currently coordinating and working out on the request made by Nepal to procure medical supplies to fight against Covid-19 through a Government to Government (G2G) agreement.

"According to the relevant procedure, if any countries raised purchasing demands via diplomatic channels, the Embassy would report back to the headquarters and provide the list of qualified providers," the envoy said. "On April 2, the Nepali side raised commercial demand to the Chinese Government through the Nepali Embassy in Beijing. Ministry of Commerce of the PRC is coordinating and working on that."

Earlier, the government had decided to entrust Nepal Army with the responsibility of procuring medical supplies through the Government to Government (G2G) agreement with China in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Population. In a video press conference organized on Sunday, Nepal Army Spokesperson Bigyan Dev Pandey said the army would not compromise quality of medical equipment, procure them through the competitive bidding process and determine separate prices of medical items and transportation cost and bring those equipment and logistics within the stipulated deadline.

The Chinese envoy said that China attaches high importance to the quality of its exportable materials and discourages the export of substandard goods to other countries. "Materials that do not meet the standards are not allowed to be exported. Relevant departments have just rolled out more rigorous regulative measures," she said. "Export companies of medical supplies need to state in written or digital format upon customs clearance that their products have valid registration certificates for medical devices and products and meet the quality standards of their destinations.

The envoy also appreciated the efforts made by Nepal to contain the spread of Covid-19. "The nationwide lockdown and suspension of international commercial flights have minimized the movement of people at home and from abroad. The Nepali government has also made full efforts to ensure the supply of essential necessities and provide relief packages to the families in need," she noted.

While stating that China will never forget the support whole Nepal had given to China during the most difficult time when China fought against the epidemic, the envoy pledged all support possible to Nepal to fight against Covid-19. "Our Embassy immediately formed a joint working group with the relevant ministries of Nepal, shared information and experience on epidemic prevention and control, clinical treatment, customs quarantine, etc through providing documents and video connections," she said. "The Chinese government will provide material assistance to Nepal and both sides are in touch on this issue."

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