Nepal and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan enjoy excellent bilateral relations. The two countries established diplomatic relations on 20 March 1960. Nepal established a residential Embassy in Islamabad in 1962 and Honorary Nepali Consulate General in Karachi in 1975. The bilateral relations between the two countries are based on goodwill, mutual cooperation and friendship. Both the Governments hold similar views on many issues of common interests and work closely at various international and regional forums such as the UN, NAM, and SAARC. A Foreign Secretary level bilateral consultation mechanism has been established to review the bilateral relations comprehensively. The third round of bilateral consultations was held in June 2009 in Kathmandu.
With the objective to promote economic cooperation between the two countries, Nepal-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was set up at the level of Finance Ministers in 1983. The JEC in its various meetings has agreed, inter alia, to exert efforts to realize the potentials of expanding trade, investment, and industrial joint ventures. The 6th Meeting of JEC was held in Islamabad on 19-20 August 2013. The meeting reviewed the implementation status of decisions of 5th Session and deliberated on Trade and Commerce, Banking and Finance, Agriculture and Livestock, Energy, Health, Education, Culture, Tourism, Telecom and ICT, and civil aviation.
Trade and Investment
Pakistani investors have entered into joint ventures in textile, hotels and banking industries in Nepal. In order to boost the bilateral trade, the two governments have signed a trade agreement in July 1982. A Joint Business Council (JBC) was established in November 1996 between the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in order to promote bilateral trade. Similarly, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) signed MOUs with Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry in February 2005.
Nepal and Pakistan have great potential of bilateral trade. Nepal’s export to Pakistan primarily includes black tea, woollen shawls, leather, hide and skin, optical lenses, plants (herbs medicines), lentil and cardamom. Nepal’s import from Pakistan consists of refined leather, machinery and parts, shoes and sandals, spices, poppy seeds, medicines and medical equipment, dried fruits, plastic lab equipment, textiles, accumulators, carding machines and appliances etc.
Bilateral trade statistics Value in 000 Rs.
|Fiscal Year||Nepal’s Export to Pakistan||Imports from Pakistan||Trade balance|
Source: – Nepal Rastra Bank and Trade & Export Promotion Centre
Nepal and Pakistan signed the Agreement on Tourism Cooperation in February 2009. The Agreement provides for mutual cooperation in tourism and archaeology; exchanges of tourism organizations and travel and tour operators; cooperation to encourage tourists from third countries to visit their respective countries; mutual exchange of tourism information, materials and experience; production of tourism-related films and video-tapes; and joint collaboration for investment.
Tourist Arrival from Pakistan to Nepal:
Source: – Nepal Tourism Statistics 2016
Education and Culture
Pakistan, under the Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP), provides annually scholarships to Nepal in Medicine, Pharmacy and Engineering. There are more than 500 Nepali students undertaking higher studies in the field of medical science, engineering, pharmacy, information technology, social science, management, and mass communication in Pakistan. Pakistan provides long and short term trainings to the government officials of Nepal.
Nepal and Pakistan signed the Cultural Agreement in May 1970 which aims at promoting cultural relations, establishing inter-universities relations, and cooperation between Radio and Television. Nepal-Pakistan Friendship and Cultural Association is in operation in Kathmandu. A Nepal Friendship Group also exists in Islamabad.
Pakistani Assistance for Disaster Relief
After the devastating earthquake of April 2015, the Government of Pakistan sent immediate assistance to Nepal. It dispatched rescue and relief teams, food, water, tents and other relief material. Pakistan took part in the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction and pledged support to Nepal.
The Government of Pakistan provided US$ 1 million to the Government of Nepal as the relief to the victims of flood and landslides in Terai region of Nepal in 2017.