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Nathu La Trade to Resume on Monday

May 4, 2009

May 3, 2009

Gangtok (Sikkim), May 3 (ANI) -- The fourth
edition of the annual Sino-Indian border trade at
Nathu La, one of the three trading border posts
between China and India, will resume on Monday
after a six-month long winter break.

Apart Nathu La, the other two border trade check
posts are Shipkila in Himachal Pradesh and
Lipulekh (or Lipulech) in Uttarakhand.

Sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War,
Nathu La was re-opened in 2006 following numerous bilateral trade agreements.

Currently, agreements between the two nations
limit trade across the pass to 29 types of goods from India
and 15 from the Chinese side.

The annual border trade is restricted for
participation of the traders from Sikkim and
Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) only.

Under the bilateral agreement, the Indian traders
visit Renguingang mart in TAR to buy goods from
there, while their counterparts from across the
border come to Sherathang Mart in Sikkim for trading purpose.

The traders of the two countries are issued
Import-Export Code Number (IEC) and security
passes by their respective authorities to enable them to visit the trade marts.

In spite of various restrictions put on for
trading through Nathu La, the total value of the
traded goods last year stood at Rs.9.6 million.

The Government of Sikkim will organize a function
at Sherathang Mart on Monday to mark the formal
inauguration of the fourth edition of the bilateral border trade.

Official delegations and traders of the two countries will attend the function.

The Sikkim Chamber of Commerce and the
Indo-Chinese Traders Association of Sikkim
(ICTAS) have urged the governments of the two
countries for an urgent revision of the goods on
the trade list to add commercial value to the business.

Most of the items listed in the schedule are
obsolete and lack commercial value.
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