KATHMANDU — Nepali business leaders have hoped that trade and tourism between Nepal and China would be boosted after the Rasuwagadi-Kerung (Geelong Port) border crossing was recently upgraded into an international border point.
Following the upgrading, the border has been opened for international visitors besides Nepali and Chinese.
Following the closure of Tatopani-Khasa (Zhangmu) border point since the deadly earthquake in Nepal in April 2015, Geelong Port is the only operating trade point between the two countries.
“We are very much exited from the Chinese decision (to upgrade the border point) because we can now sell combined tourism package of Nepal and the Tibet autonomous region of China to the international visitors,” Suman Pandey, chairman of Nepal Chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association, told Xinhua recently.
While China is expected to expand its railway network to bordering Geelong Port within the next few years, Nepal has also planned to develop a railway from capital Kathmandu to Rasuwagadi, a border town near Geelong Port.
“I hope both countries will prioritize infrastructure building in the border point following the upgrading,” Rajesh Kaji Shrestha, president of Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Xinhua on Sept 1.
According to the traders, improved connectivity through the border point will contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China in 2013.
Nepal and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in May this year.