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China, India to reopen historic trade route

The pass, which would open on July 6, 44 years after it was closed, will give a major boost to the local economies.

india Updated: Jun 19, 2006 13:04 IST

India and China have reached a historic agreement to resume border trade through the strategic Nathu La pass from July 6, 44 years after its closure.

The reopening of Nathu La pass would give a major boost to the local economies of the land-locked mountainous regions of the two Asian giants and would promote bilateral trade.

The delegations of the two sides reached agreement late on Sunday night, an official source from Lhasa said.

The agreement allows residents living on the border areas of the two countries to trade nearly 30 items mentioned in the border trade agreements of 1991, 1992 and 2003.

The items include agricultural implements, food grains, blankets, agro-chemical products, dry fruits, beverages, canned food etc.

"The resumption of border trade is a great historic event, not only for enlarging trade, but also for greater relations between the two countries," additional secretary of the Department of Commerce Christy Fernandez, who headed the Indian delegation, said.

"The reopening of border trade will help end economic isolation in this area and will play a key role in boosting market economy," Vice Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region Hao Peng, who led the Chinese delegation, said.

"It will also boost the transportation, construction and service industries, paving way for a major trade route that connects China and south Asia," he said.