KATHMANDU, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Nepali government endorsed the protocol of Nepal-China Transit Transport Agreement (TTA) and authorized its commerce secretary to sign the protocol, a cabinet minister of Nepali government has said on Thursday.
In a regular press briefing, the spokesperson for the Nepali government and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota said the cabinet had endorsed the protocol which was agreed between China and Nepal.
During the third bilateral consultative meeting held on Sept. 4-6 last year in capital Kathmandu, officials of two countries concluded the protocol of the TTA reached in March 2016.
The agreement enables the Himalayan country vital access to China's sea and land ports for trading with third countries, according to the Nepali officials. Land-locked Nepal had been fully dependent on India which surrounds Nepal from three directions.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supply Matrika Prasad Yadav told Xinhua Thursday the date of signing the protocol has not been decided yet.
"It will be signed very soon. Probably, the protocol will be signed during the proposed visit of Nepali President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to China to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative Forum to be held in Beijing next month," he said.
According to Nepal's Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply, Nepal can utilize China's four seaports in Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang and Zhanjiang and three dry ports in Lanzhou, Lhasa and Xigatse for trading with third countries.
But, Nepal would find it difficult to use Chinese transit facility given that infrastructure in Nepal has not been improved, Nepali officials said. "We will make our efforts to improve infrastructure on our side," Yadav said.