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People's Daily Online>>World >> Asia/Oceania

Nepali gov't okays Trans-Asia railway network pact


20:23, December 21, 2011

KATHMANDU, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The government has endorsed the Inter-governmental Agreement on Trans-Asia Railway Network - a pact that will enable Nepal to connect the railway lines, which it is planning to develop, with railway networks of Asia and Europe, facilitating uninterrupted movement of people and goods.

According to Wednesday's Republica daily, the cabinet meeting held last week approved the crucial agreement proposed by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works after seeking consent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Finance.

"Approval of the agreement is the demonstration of the government commitment to enter into the Trans-Asia Railway Network. This will greatly facilitate movement of people and goods via Nepal to other Asian and European countries," Ram Kumar Lamsal, director general of Department of Railway, told Republica. "We will immediately send the ratification paper to UN once the parliament ratifies it."

If ratified, the agreement will not only pave the way for increasing trade with partner countries in the region, but also facilitate the development of internal network of railway.

The agreement was signed in Busan, South Korea under the initiation of United Nations Economic and Social Commission Asia and the Pacific. Along with Nepal, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, South Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are also signatories to the agreement.

So far, one and half a dozen countries in the region including China, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Russia and South Korea - have ratified the agreement. The pact would be effective once at least eight of the member countries ratify it, reported the daily.

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