Nepal and the Netherlands established diplomatic relations on 2 April 1960. The Nepalese Embassy in Belgium is concurrently accredited to the Netherlands and the Dutch Embassy in New Delhi is accredited to Nepal. Nepal and the Netherlands enjoy friendly, cordial and cooperative bilateral relations at both the Government and people-to-people levels.
High Level Visits
Exchange of visits at high levels has contributed to the growth of bilateral relations between the two countries. Late King Mahendra paid a state visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands on April 25, 1967. The then Crown Prince Dipendra paid an official visit to the Netherlands in June 1998 at the invitation of HRH Prince of Orange who is the present King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. From the Netherlands’ side, His late Royal Highness Prince Bernhard paid an official visit to Nepal on 26 January 1973. He paid unofficial visits to Nepal in April 1975 and again in October –November 1977. He was also on a friendly visit to Nepal from 25-29 January 1986.
His Majesty the King Willem-Alexander, the then HRH the Prince of Orange, paid an official visit to Nepal from 21-25 January 1997. The former Development Cooperation Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Johannes P. PRONK, visited Nepal from 4-8 August 1996. Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands visited Nepal on 8-9 June 2015 some weeks after the devastating earthquakes hit Nepal in April/May 2015.
The Dutch economic cooperation to Nepal started in 1976. Currently, much of its development support to Nepal is channelled through the multilateral entities such as the UN and the EU. Besides, a significant amount of cooperation is provided through various Dutch NGOs and INGOs. The focus of Dutch development cooperation to Nepal is in the areas of health, environment, disaster preparedness and relief, decentralized local governance, bio-diversity and renewable energy.
The Netherlands Government has been providing some fellowships annually to Nepalese scholars to pursue higher studies and trainings in the Netherlands with a duration ranging from 3 to 18 months. This cooperation has contributed in enhancing the skills and knowledge of mid-level Nepalese government officials in the areas of development, administration, local governance, and water management.
The Dutch government provides official development assistance to those countries that are included in the priority list. As Nepal is not in the list, Nepal has requested the Dutch government for its inclusion in the list. According to the Dutch authorities, dropping a country from the list and/or inclusion of a new one in it does not occur frequently. However, they have taken note of Nepal’s development needs and maintain the view that consideration may be given at the time of review. Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation Ms. Lilianne Ploumen stated the same thing during her visit to Nepal in June 2015.
Trade and Investment
In 2016, Nepal’s imports from the Netherlands amounted to 7.8 million USD while exports were worth 2 million USD. Some industries in the areas of hotel, security service and tissue culture have been operating in Nepal under Nepal Netherlands joint venture. As of July 2015, a total of 35 joint ventures were established in Nepal with the Dutch investment of NRs. 604 million which helped to create 3,113 jobs.
Nepal exports carpet, woollen goods, ready-made garments, handmade papers, handicrafts etc., to the Netherlands. Similarly, Nepal imports textile materials, machinery and parts, industrial raw materials, electrical goods, research equipment etc., from the Netherlands.
In view of the major role being played by the Netherlands in the European Union (EU), the prospects of cooperative relations between Nepal and the EU is expected to receive added impetus through excellent economic and trade relations with the Netherlands.
Nepal remains a popular destination among Dutch tourists, especially in trekking and mountaineering sectors. Total of 12320 and 7515 Dutch visitors visited Nepal in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Nepali Nationals living in the Netherlands
About 2000 Nepalese nationals have been living in the Netherlands. They are yet another link in our bilateral relations. These people are contributing to the cultural diversity and richness of the Dutch society and economy by their creative and productive enterprises.
Embassy of Nepal