Nepal and China agree to revisit bilateral Trade and Payments Agreement

Published On: September 26, 2023 08:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The two countries sign 13 MoUs during PM Dahal’s ongoing visit to China

KATHMANDU, Sept 26: Nepal and China have consented to revisit the Nepal-China Trade and Payments Agreement.

According to an official of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, the two countries reached a consensus following a bilateral talk held between Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Chinese Prime Minister Li Chang at the Great Hall of the People, China on Monday. On the occasion of Prime Minister Dahal’s current visit to China, the two sides also inked an agreement paper to put into effect the bilateral agreement.  

The Trade and Payments Agreement between Nepal and China has been in operation since 1981. The agreement allows the use of a number of trading points for transport of goods between the two countries. In the latest development, the two neighboring countries have stepped up efforts to revise the four-decade old bilateral agreement.   

Stakeholders have long been demanding to revise the existing Nepal-China Trade and Payments Agreement. According to critics, Nepal has been unable to receive a notable benefit from the agreement.

Apart from the Trade and Payments Agreement, Nepal and China in March 2016, also signed a Transit and Transport Agreement, which allows Nepal to use Chinese ports for a third country trade. Besides these, in May 2010, China granted zero-tariff access to more than 8000 Nepali products.

Time and again, China has been putting forth various memorandum of understanding (MoU) and letters of exchange, mainly for its own benefits from the bilateral economic cooperation. However, the landlocked country Nepal has failed to make proper lobbying when it comes to its side.   

In the new development, Nepal and China have agreed to form a joint technical taskforce to review the old agreement. Similarly, the team will also suggest the possible amendment to the existing agreement.  

Meanwhile, Nepal and China signed a 13-point MoU in Beijing during the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Dahal to China. Dahal and his counterpart signed and exchanged 10 agreements and 3 MoUs in the presence of officials from Nepal and China.

Nepali Ambassador to China, Bishnu Pukar Shrestha, stated that these agreements and MoUs are related to various sectors including agriculture, communication, science and technology, and trade.

Shrestha and the Chinese officials exchanged agreements related to increasing productivity in the northern region of Nepal, digital economy collaboration, green and low carbon cooperation, as well as translation and publication of ancient texts.

Furthermore, Commerce and Supplies Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini and Chinese officials signed and exchanged an agreement regarding the establishment of a joint technical working group.

Education Secretary Suresh Adhikari and Chinese officials signed and exchanged agreements on cooperation in the field of science and technology and innovation.

Additionally, a letter of agreement was signed and exchanged between the National Development and Research Council of China and the National Planning Commission of Nepal.

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