January 20: Nepal’s bilateral trade with China through the northern border is returning back to normalcy. Nepal’s border with China had remained obstructed since last year due to the emergence of coronavirus.
Although efforts had been made to reopen the border checkpoints since last May, it was not possible due to landslides. After the roads damaged by landslides were repaired, the border points were partly reopened with only five containers entering Nepal on a daily basis. Four months ago, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies had reached an agreement with China to resume import and export between the two countries but the decision could not be implemented immediately.
The volume of trade between the two countries has increased significantly since the past one week, informed Lopsang Sherpa, a member of Nepal Trans-Himalayan Border Commerce Association.
“Altogether 16 containers of goods are entering Nepal through the Tatopani border on a daily basis,” said Sherpa, adding, “Only two containers of goods used to arrive from Rasuwagadhi every day but now there has been an increase in import from that border point too.”
China has not allowed Nepali containers to go across the border. Chinese containers bring the goods up to the border and Nepali loaders have to cross the border to bring them back by following strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Nepali importers say that the import of goods through the China border has increased to as much as 50 percent compared to pre-Covid-19 period. However, Nepal has not been able to export goods to China through the border.