Nepal-Republic of Korea Relations

Bilateral

Diplomatic relations between Nepal and the Republic of Korea were established in Counselor level in 1969 and was upgraded to Ambassadorial level in 1974. The Republic of Korea opened its Embassy in Kathmandu in 1974. The Government of Nepal has established its Embassy in Seoul in March 2007.

Nepal and South Korea have been enjoying very good understanding, goodwill and friendship. In 2004, Nepal and the Republic of Korea celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Foreign Ministers of Nepal and the RoK exchanged messages on the occasion. Deputy Foreign Minister of the RoK H.E. Mr Cho Young-jai visited Nepal as Congratulatory Envoy of the Republic of Korea in May 2004. Similarly, the year 2014 also marks as a special occasion to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between Nepal and the Republic of Korea. To celebrate the occasion, the Embassy of Nepal in Seoul organized several activities including a seminar to promote Korean investment in Nepal. To mark the occasion, Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Government of Nepal Mr. Mahendra Bahadur Pandey visited Korea and attended a special reception hosted by the Embassy.
 

Major visits

There have been exchanges of visits in different level between Nepal and the Republic of Korea over the time. Those visits have been instrumental in enhancing the bilateral cooperation as well as in widening the understanding between the people of the both countries.

From the Nepalese side,


From the Korean side,

 

Nepal-Korea Cooperation

The Republic of Korea is increasingly becoming an important and reliable partner in Nepal’s economic development. Construction, sericulture development, hydropower development, Road and infrastructure development, health Science, e-governance are some of the major areas supported by the Government of Korea to Nepal in the past. Korea also has assisted Nepal with soft loan through the Economic Cooperation Fund of Govt. of Korea. Nepal and Korea have signed Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) Agreement in 1997.

ROK is providing various supports to Nepal also through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) mostly in technical fields in various areas. Some of the ongoing projects which will be completed within 2014 are establishment of ICT Centre at Institute of Engineering, Modernization of Custom Administration, Health Service Improvement in Tikapur, Establishment of Technical Training Centre at Kathmandu University, and Master Plan for the Lumbini World Peace City Preservation and Development. Similarly, Disaster Recovery Centre in Hetauda, Improving Maternal and Child Health Care in Mugu would be completed in 2015. National Health Insurance Support Programme which was started in 2013 will be completed in 2017. Integrated Rural Development Programme (2014-2017) and MDG’s Development Effectiveness Enhancement Project, UNDP (2014-1016) are also in the pipeline.
 

Trade and Investment

However, the trade volume between Nepal and the Republic of Korea is increasing over the years; the balance of trade is heavily in favour of Korea. The total trade volume between Nepal and the Republic of Korea in the year 2009/2010, 2011/2012 stands at about US Dollar 74 million.


Both the Governments have encouraged respective private sectors to set up joint ventures in different areas. As of 2012/13, 170 business entities are under South Korean investment on Electronics, hotel industry, chemical industry, medicinal goods and mineral in the operation with an investment of Nepalese Rupees 4421 million. Lately, many Korean reputable companies have started showing interest in business ventures in Nepal. Some of the notable Korean Companies are Korea South-East Power Company (Upper Trishuli-A 216 MW), Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (Chameliya- 30 MW) and Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) (Upper Modi 62.6 MW). These companies, however state owned, are the leading companies in energy sectors of Korea.
 

Tourism

Nepal has been one of the most favored tourist destinations for Korean people mostly in adventure tourism. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, tourists arrival in Nepal from the RoK were 3189, 5475 and 7,002 respectively, which is around 2.0 per cent of the total tourist arrival in Nepal on respective years. "In the latter years, the number of South Korean tourists visiting Nepal has significantly increased. According to the statistics, the numbers of Korean tourist arrival are as follows.
 

S.No. Year Numbers
1 2009 16,145
2 2010 20,331
3 2011 24,888
4 2012 26,004

 

Culture

Both the Governments have concluded a Cultural Agreement on 30 March 2005. The cultural agreement envisages promoting and developing the cooperation between the two countries in the field of culture, art, education, youths, sports and tourism. About 600 Nepalese students, mainly in Doctoral and Post Doctoral Degrees, are pursuing their higher studies at the different universities in Korea.

The relationship between Nepal and the Republic of Korea are nurtured and fostered at the peoples’ level since centuries through the commonalities of cultural values and exchanges based on the lofty ideals of Buddhism. In continuation of maintaining the tradition, preserve and promote the ideals of Buddha, in joint cooperation of Dosunsa temple, one of the largest Buddhist Order of Korea and Embassy of Nepal, brought the Eternal Peace Flame from Lumbini, the birthplace of Shakyamuni Buddha, and installed it permanently at Dosunsa temple in April, 2013.
 

Training and Manpower Supply

The RoK has extended its cooperation in providing training to Nepali trainees under Industrial Training Scheme. In the beginning, the annual number of trainees was little over 1700. Since 2003, this number was increased gradually till the year 2005 and has been substantially decreased after the abolition of the system in December 2006. A few training opportunities are also available from the RoK for Nepalese nationals in different disciplines such as agriculture, community development, and public works.

In July, 2007 Nepal and Korea have signed a MOU under the Employment Permit System (EPS) that allows Nepali worker to go to work in Korea under the agreed guidelines to be implemented by the Governments of the both countries. The MOU facilitates all Nepali workers with guaranteed facilities and other social securities. Both sides believe that the Employment permit system will streamline the process of recruitment and employment of Nepali workers in Korea in a fair and transparent manner and will also help provide all kinds of social security while at work at par to its own nationals.
 

Volunteer Services

Under the agreement signed between the Government of Nepal and the Government of the RoK in January 1992, KOICA (Korea International Co-operation Agency) has opened its office in Nepal. Since then, KOICA has been dispatching middle level technical personnel to work as volunteers in various areas Nepal. For 2014, 67 volunteers would be dispatched from Korea.
 

Other Issues

Both countries have concluded an agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income; both countries have also agreed to form a Nepal-Korea International and Cooperation Committee of Industrialists and Businessmen.

Both the governments have signed a unified Air Services Agreement (ASA). As a result of this understanding the Korean Air is operating its regular flights in the Seoul-Kathmandu-Seoul sector every week.

A Nepal-Republic of Korea Parliamentarians Friendship Group was established in 2002 consisting of then five members of House of Representatives.

An Agreement for the establishment of Consultation Mechanism between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Nepal and the Republic of Korea was signed by the Foreign Minister of both the countries in October 2001. The second consultation mechanism meeting was held in Seoul on March 21, 2014 at the Joint Secretary level. The first meeting of the Mechanism was held in Kathmandu in 2005.

Republic of Korea has been associated as Observers to SAARC. It is believed that Korea's association will not only expand its linkages with the region but also help its economic integration with member countries as well.

 

Embassy of Nepal
Seoul
November 13, 2014