Mon, 05 Jun 2023

Chinese bottleneck causes great loss to Nepali traders

Khalid Umar Malik
20 Jan 2022, 15:45 GMT+10

LISTIKOT, Nepal Traders importing goods from China complain about the delayed shipments by Chinese authorities.

The shipments supposed to reach the Tatopani border, a major customs point along the Nepal-China border north of Kathmandu, within two weeks is taking more than eight weeks.

Dorje Lama, a trader, placed an import order with a Chinese business for ready-made clothing in mid-August, anticipating arriving in time for the Dashain shopping season when Nepalis go on their biggest shopping spree of the year.

By the time Lama's items landed in Kathmandu in mid-October, it was too late after all customs procedures had been completed. Dashain shopping had over.

"Selling clothes during the off-season after Dashain is difficult. It causes us huge losses. The northern neighbor is behaving indifferently to traders," the trader said.

"As the Chinese side is allowing only a limited number of containers to enter Nepal, we are not only facing delays and cost overruns; our goods are also being damaged, mostly perishable fruits and vegetables.

"We are not aware of China's interest. But the traders are suffering."

According to Lama, only seven cargo containers are permitted to enter Nepal each day. These containers hold apples, ginger, and ready-made clothing.

"If 30 to 35 cargo containers are permitted to cross into Nepal every day, it will resolve most of the problems faced by Nepali traders."

"Under the pretext of earthquakes, floods, and landslides, China has been discouraging bilateral trade," Dorje added.

According to Ashok Kumar Shrestha, head of the Himalayan Cross-Border Chamber of Commerce and Industry, traders requested the government take up the matter with Chinese authorities.

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