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Tibet's success prompts Sikkim to review list for China trade

Feb '07
NATHU LA:(Sikkim)

Tibet's bilateral trade through the famous silk route was beneficial last year prompting Sikkim to urge New Delhi to review the list of items that can be traded with China.

There is need for present list of import-export to be updated as the list was prepared long back, said SK Sarda, President of Sikkim Chamber of Commerce.

India and China reopened trade across the 15,000-ft Nathu La Pass, on July 6, as part of a broader rapprochement and Indian traders sold goods worth about Rs.550,000 till September, according to reports.

Trade between the two countries will take place four days a week - Monday to Thursday - beginning June 1 each year and will end by Sep 30 due to snowfall, according to agreement reached.

"We want the central government to include iron and steel, cement, paints, hardware materials, readymade garments, cosmetics, perfumes, processed food, medicines, medicinal herbs, flowers, fruits and a host of other things in the list of exportable items," Sarda said.

The agreement to open the pass approved 15 items for import from China such as silk and yak pelts and horses, whereas India could export 29 items from textiles to tea, rice, vegetables and herbs.

"The inclusion of new exportable items would make trade points more vibrant and robust and would greatly increase the volume of business from next year," Sarda said.

Tibet's Commerce Department said bilateral trade in the first season through Nathu La saw business worth 1.49 million yuan ($190,000 million).

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