Nepal and Belgium established diplomatic relations on 19 August 1963. Nepal opened its residential embassy in Brussels in 1992. The Embassy of Belgium in New Delhi is concurrently accredited to Nepal. Belgium has its Honorary Consulate in Kathmandu. The relations between the two countries have always been marked by goodwill, trust and mutual respect. The year 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two kingdoms. To commemorate this occasion, the Embassy together with the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs organized a special event at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels on 04 September 2014.
Exchange of visits at various levels, especially at high level, have contributed to strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries. The then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur DEUBA visited Belgium from 25-28 August 2002 during which he had meetings with the then Belgian Prime Minister Mr. Guy VERHOFSTADT and various other dignitaries. Then Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Foreign Minister (FM), and later Prime Minister, Mr. Madhav Kumar NEPAL visited Belgium in February 1996. DPM’s and FM Mr. KP OLI in 2007, Mrs. Sahana PRADHAN in 2008, Mr. Upendra YADAV in March 2009 and other high dignitaries from Nepal have visited Belgium. Then Finance Minister Honourable Shanker KOIRALA visited Belgium in 2013 to inaugurate the 68th edition of Ghent International Trade Fair in which Nepal participated as ‘Country Guest of Honour’. Former Prime Minister of Nepal late Sushil KOIRALA visited Belgium in September 2014. Hon. Foreign Minister of Nepal Dr. Prakash Sharan MAHAT visited Belgium in February 2017 during which had a bilateral Meeting with H.E. Mr. Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium.
From the Belgian side, the then His Majesty the King Albert II made a private visit to Nepal during the eighties and His Majesty the King Philippe, the then Crown Prince, paid an unofficial visit to Nepal in 1998. The latest high-level visit from Belgium includes the official visit of the then Foreign Minister Mr. Karel De GUCHT to Nepal in 2005.
Belgium has contributed to Nepal’s development efforts by providing its cooperation through multilateral channels such as the UN, EU and international financial institutions. It also channels its cooperation though the NGO’s, both local and Belgian.
One of the major areas in which Belgian financial and technical cooperation has left visible marks is the area of telecommunication. The concessional state-to-state loans provided by Belgium to Nepal to implement the sixth telecommunication project during 1990’s contributed to upgrading the then existing telephone exchange into digital.
Nepal Red Cross and Red Cross Flanders have close collaboration.
TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Nepal exports carpet, woollen goods, ready-made garments, handmade papers, handicrafts etc., to Belgium. Similarly, Nepal imports textile materials, machinery and parts, industrial raw materials, electrical goods, research equipment etc., from Belgium. The following are the trade figures for the last four years.
Value in US$
As of July 2013, 12 projects under Belgian investment were in operation with an investment of Rs. 54 million which has created 395 jobs.
Nepal is popular destination among the Belgian tourists, especially for trekking, cultural and adventure attractions. A significant number of tourists arrive in Nepal from Belgium each year. The following figures show the tourist arrivals from Belgium in recent years:
|Year||Number of Tourists|
Embassy of Nepal in Brussels