Nepal urges China to expand railway network

Nepal urges China to expand railway network

Kathmandu, Sep 26 (IANS) Nepal has requested China to consider expanding its railway network to different border points, said a senior official on Monday.

China plans to extend its Qinghai-Tibet Railway network up to Geelong port, the nearest Chinese town from Nepal’s Rasuwagadhi border point, Xinhua news agency reported.

“We asked the Chinese authorities in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to consider expanding its railway to other border points during the Nepal-Tibet Trade Facilitation Committee meeting held in Lhasa last week,” said Rabi Shankar Sainju, a Joint Secretary of Nepal’s Commerce Ministry, who led the Nepali delegation at the talks.

Nepal-Tibet Trade Facilitation Committee is a mechanism formed to promote bilateral trade. Its meeting has been taking place every year in each country alternatively.

“We proposed China to consider connecting more border points such as Hilsa, Korala and Kimathanka beside Rasuwagadhi with its railway,” said Sainju, adding that such proposal was made considering the ongoing homework to sign the protocol to Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement signed in March.

During the former Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to China six months ago, the two countries had signed transit agreement which has given Nepal an alternative transit in addition to India.

Nepalese officials believe that more connectivity at border points will give more options to Nepal once the transit agreement is implemented in practice.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed on establishing border area economic zones on both sides.

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