Germany Upgrades Bilateral Relationship With Nepal
First joint political consultations leads to tightening of the relationship between the two statesJuly 19th, 2019
In a sign of the strong relationship between Nepal and Germany, the first joint political consultations between the two states took place between July 16-17 in Kathmandu, 2019. It marks an upgrade in the bilateral relationship between the two states.
Shanker Das Bairagi, Foreign Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed Markus Potzel, Commissioner for South Asia of the German Federal Foreign Office to Nepal, at his office. Mr. Potzel also met with Gokul Prasad Baskota, the minister of Information and Communications and Bhanu Bhakta Dhaka, the minister of Law, Justice, Constitutional Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs. Furthermore, representatives from both civil society and the private sector were also in attendance.
A wide range of topics were covered with regional, political, economic and societal issues covered extensively. The Federal Republic of Germany has held an embassy in Kathmandu from 1963 onwards, following the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1958. Since the restoration of democracy in Nepal in 2006, ties between the two states have been growing closer.
Germany is a key partner to Nepal, with it its third-largest trading partner and ranks among one of the most important of its bilateral donors. The talks stressed the need for increasing trade between the two states further and advocated an increase in foreign investment into Nepal, while efforts to promote German private sector invest into Nepal were welcomed. Equally, the international and regional situation was reviewed, agreeing that rule-based multilateralism and regional cooperation must be cultivated.
Regarding the environment, “The two sides acknowledged climate change as one of the most serious existential threats to humanity and agreed to promote collaboration, both at bilateral and multilateral levels,” said Potzel.
Both side also welcomed the signing of 24.3 million Euro financial agreement on July 5, aimed at development projects in rural areas. Germany also pledged 4 million Euros for technical cooperation and to upgrade the use of solar energy in order to combat climate change.
The discussions resulted in the signing of a joint declaration creating the ‘Establishment of Bilateral Consultation Mechanism’, with both states committing to the holding of annual joint consultations. At a press conference following the event, Potzel declared "The consultations will be complementary to the bi-annual consultations on development cooperation led by the Nepali Ministry of Finance and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.”