China’s attempt is to reduce the dependency by providing Nepal access to another port through the Kathmandu-Rasuwadadhi highway.
Dalip Singh takes a look at Nepal’s trade with India and China in the light of the recent skirmishes involving all three nations:
Access points in India
Landlocked Nepal shares a 1,868-km boundary with India, which has 20 entry and exit points for trade. India exports petroleum products, iron, steel, cement, machinery and pharmaceuticals and imports tea, black cardamom, juices and jute products
Haldia port handles most of Nepal’s trade and is 848 km away from Birgunj dry port. However, the shallow port cannot accommodate huge vessels and goods have to be moved to bigger ships at Singapore or Colombo, increasing trade time and costs. Vishakhapatnam does not have this problem but is 1,422 km away from Birgunj.
India has agreed to provide Nepal access to Dhamra port in Odisha and Mundra in Gujarat. Negotiations are on to facilitate trade through inland waterways from Haldia to Nepal through rivers Koshi and Gandak. India accounts for 64 percent of Nepal’s total volume of trade, according to data sourced from Economic Survey of 2018-19.