Brief on Nepal-Qatar Relations
1. Nepal and the State of Qatar established their diplomatic relations on 21 January 1977. Since that time onwards, bilateral relations between the two countries are cordial and friendly that are based on mutual trust, respect, understanding and cooperation. Nepal opened its Embassy in Doha on 11 July 2000 where as Qatar set up its Embassy in Kathmandu in August 2011. Before that, Qatari Ambassador resident in New Delhi was concurrently accredited to Nepal.
2. As Nepal and Qatar share similar views on many international agenda and issues, both countries at the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, and other international forums have been working in tandem and playing active role for the cause of peace, security and development in the world.
3. Exchange of visits at different levels and interactions thereof help promote understanding and good will which in turn also help widen and heighten the subsisting bonds of ties. After the successful peopleís revolution II in Nepal in 2006, Right Honourable Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President of Nepal paid a visit to the State of Qatar on 10-13 October 2011. Earlier on 14-16 March 2009, former Foreign Minister Mr. Upendra Yadav paid an unofficial visit to Qatar. Similarly, the present Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, paid a visit to Qatar from 28 November to 03 December 2008, in the capacity of the Minister for Finance and Leader of Nepalese delegation, to participate in the Follow-up of International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of Monterrey Consensus.
4. Since both
countries are endowed with natural resources, there is an ample scope of
promoting cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, agriculture, and
tourism and manpower utilization. Moreover, Nepal is a country of choice as a
destination for tourism, trade and investment opportunity. The already adopted
liberal economic system needs to be accommodated through timely amendment of
related rules and regulations. The Government is under the process of amendment
of various rules and regulations to match the current policies and strategies
adopted by the Government. Through these amendments, the Government has
expected to create an investment friendly atmosphere in the country to expedite
the economic revolution together with the political transformation. Amendments
were also brought into the foreign direct investment related laws and
regulations. Now, there are no legal and practical barriers to repatriate the
profits from the investments. In short Nepal is a country of choice as a
destination for tourism, trade and investment opportunity and both Nepal and
Qatar should boost their economic relations in the domain of having comparative
5. The trade between
Nepal and Qatar are insignificant. However, it is in favor of Qatar. In
2010/11, Nepal exported to Qatar textile fabric and rubberized textile fabric,
CD Cassette and vegetables worth of 59 millions. During the same period, Nepal
imported from Qatar polyethylene, Colour Television, polypropylene, gold, and
VCRs worth of 511 millions. Nepalís trade deficit stood NRs. 452 millions. Nepal
should therefore explore the ways to decrease the gap of trade deficit through
enhancement of exports to Qatar. In this context, it is the opportune time to
review/amend the Agreement on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation as
well as MOU between Chambers of Commerce signed between the two countries.
6. Tourism is an
important sector where Nepal and Qatar co-operate to each other. Nepal and
Qatar signed the Air Service Agreement in 2002. At present, Qatar Airways is
operating daily direct passenger flights to Kathmandu and handling a
significant quantity of Nepalese export goods bound for Europe and America. The
air connectivity between Kathmandu and Doha has facilitated the movement of the
people to either side. Nepalís most famous Himalayan beauty as well as its rich
architecture and hospitable people are receiving worldwide attention and
attracting an increasing number of tourists from around the world. Nepal could
provide best alternative ambiance for Qatari tourists to spend their holidays away
from the bustle of modernity.
7. Till date, there is a small flow of Qatari nationals as well as expatriates to Nepal. There is indeed a great potential to attract them through dissemination and publication of the natural beauty, culture and hospitable Nepalese people.
8. As part of the
economic diplomacy, Government of Nepal has taken the policy of sending its
nationals abroad for employment with honor and dignity. Pursuant to it,
Nepalese people are going abroad for the quest of jobs. Qatar has become one of
the most preferred destinations for employment opportunities. The flow of the
people is increasing annually. According to a conservative estimate around
350,000 to 400,000 Nepalese people are working in Qatar but most of them are in
menial jobs. Dedication to work, loyalty, sincerity and integrity are some of
the attributes of the Nepalese workers that have earned trust and goodwill of
the people and the Government of Qatar.
9. The prospect of employment in Qatar is ever growing due to the massive construction of infrastructures by the Qatari Government in the context of hosting the World Cup-2018 and implementing the vision 2030 of the Government of the State of Qatar. Qatar has stood the global recession and therefore has a robust economy.