China, June 13, 2016: Participants representing Nepal in the China-South Asia Exposition and the China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair have shown optimism about the possibility of increasing exports of Nepali products to China.Both exports to and import from China have plunged following disruption of the main trading route with China â€“ Tatopani â€“after the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015.
For the Nepali traders, exporting commodities to China has become difficult as Tatopani route sustained significant damage in the April 25 earthquake last year, thus turning trade activities defunct.
â€œWe are expecting Chinese buyers to show interests in Nepali products. Sales remained low in the recent past and I hope this event will help us rebound,â€ Sushil Raj Pandey, a Thamel based trader of handicrafts told the Post.
According to him, Chinese traders used to visit Kathmandu, choose products and get them shipped through Tatopani route before the earthquake. Â He added the situation has changed now as the alternative trading route â€“ Rasuwa â€“ isnâ€™t convenient for Chinese traders. They have slowed down reaching out to the Nepali market and even those who have been reaching, too, have reduced purchases, he added.
â€œSince it is costly to ship products via aircrafts, there is a decline in purchase volume,â€ Pandey said. It costs Rs 200 per kg to ship products to China through aircraft, traders say.
For Bijesh Chauguthi, a Bhaktapur based trader of wooden crafts, Kunming Fair is an opportunity for finding long term business associates in China. The third time participant in Kunming fair is optimistic that the fair turns out to be as good as his last time. â€œWhen we just show our designs, people do not accept the fact that it has been handmade. In this fair, we have made arrangements to demonstrate creating wooden crafts live,â€ Chauguthi said.
The six-day expo with the theme â€œAmity, Sincerity, Mutual Benefit, Inclusiveness and Win-Win Cooperationâ€ was inaugurated on Sunday, amid a programme where a number of Asian leaders including Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun was present.
As many as 200 stalls from Nepal have featured handicrafts, metal crafts, wooden crafts, â€˜Rudrakshaâ€™ beads, Pashmina, Nepali art and sculptures and Thanka painting among others opened up in the expo, eyeing prospect in the Chinese market. The stalls have been decked up in a manner reflecting the cultural heritage of Nepal.