Nepal – Canada Relations
Nepal and Canada established diplomatic relations on 18 January 1965 and have enjoyed longstanding friendly relations ever since. Nepal opened its Embassy in Ottawa on 1 October 2009. Nepal has also established Honorary Consulates in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Victoria. High Commission of Canada in New Delhi, India, is concurrently accredited to Nepal. Canada has its Honorary Consulate in Kathmandu.
Canada supports Nepal’s commitment to building a stable and democratic society and has welcomed the promulgation of the Constitution of Nepal in 2015.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) between the foreign ministries of the two countries was signed on 24 September 2018 by the Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. K. P. Sharma Oli and the Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Justin Trudeau. The mechanism has institutionalised regular dialogue on matters of mutual interest between the two countries.
The first meeting of the BCM, hosted by the Global Affairs Canada, was held on 4 October 2018 in Ottawa, Canada in which the Nepali delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Mr. Shanker Das Bairagi. Similarly, the second meeting, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal, was held virtually on 11 December 2020. Mr. Bharat Raj Paudyal, Foreign Secretary, led the Nepali delegation.
- The Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. K P Sharma Oli met with the Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Justin Trudeau on 24 September 2018 in New York on the sidelines of 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
- Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali held a telephone conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada Mr. François Philippe Champagne on 11 June 2020.
Visits from Nepal
- A Nepali delegation led by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai attended the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) held in Montreal, Canada, on 24 September – 4 October 2019.
- A Delegation led by Mr. Shanker Das Bairagi, Foreign Secretary of Nepal visited Canada on 3 – 6 October 2018 for the first meeting of the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism between the foreign ministries of the two countries.
- A delegation led by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Rabindra Adhikari traveled to ICAO in Montreal, Canada, to receive the ‘ICAO Council President Certificate’ in June 2018.
- A Nepali delegation led by Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Jiwan Bahadur Shahi attended the 39th General Assembly of the ICAO held on 27 September – 5 October 2016.
- A delegation of the Public Service Commission of Nepal led by its member Ms. Brinda Hada Bhattarai visited Canada on 26 June – 03 July 2017 and held meetings with the officials of the relevant agencies in Canada.
- Chief Secretary Dr. Som Lal Subedi visited Canada on 2-7 March 2017 and held meeting with his counterpart Mr. Michael Wenrick, Clerk of the Privy Council Canada, on 3 March 2017.
Visits from Canada
- Speaker of the Senate of Canada Mr. George J. Furey, Q.C. paid an official visit to Nepal on 10-11 February 2020 leading a delegation of the Canadian Senators.
- Justice Sheila Ray of the Ontario Court of Justice visited Nepal in 2016 and met with Ms. Sushila Karki, Chief Justice of Nepal.
- Chief Commissioner of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Mr. Bob Paulson visited Nepal in 2016, and held meetings with the leadership of Nepal Police.
- Canadian Minister of Labor and Minister of Status of Woman Dr. K. Kellie Leitch visited Nepal in May 2015.
- Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights Mr. Deepak Obhrai visited Nepal on 13-16 January 2015 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Parliamentary Friendship Groups
In an effort to further strengthen relations between the two countries and parliaments, the Canada-Nepal Parliamentary Friendship Group was formed in the Parliament of Canada on 4 October 2016.
Similarly, the Federal Parliament of Nepal formed the Nepal-Canada Parliamentary Friendship Group in April 2019.
Canada has been Nepal’s development partner since 1952 when it joined the Colombo Plan. The official bilateral assistance commenced in 1970 through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Canadian cooperation primarily contributed to strengthening the aviation sector and focused on such other areas as hydropower, energy, wastewater management, irrigation, infrastructure development, rural development, transportation, telecommunications, health, education, geographical survey, agriculture, poverty alleviation, food security and human rights.
Canada has also generously extended humanitarian support to Nepal in difficult times such as post-natural disasters and calamities.
The support from the people and Government of Canada in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of April 2015 as well as for Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction efforts was remarkable. The Government of Canada responded quickly to the rescue and relief needs and provided $10 million in humanitarian assistance through its channel. It also deployed Global Affairs Canada’s emergency stockpiles, Canadian Red Cross Emergency Response Unit, and Canadian Forces’ Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). On 27 April 2015, the Government of Canada launched a Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund to engage the Canadian public and announced a commitment to match the fund. The Canadian people also showed great solidarity and support to the victims of the earthquake.
After the flooding and landslides in 2017, Canada provided humanitarian support to Nepal.
Canada also supported Nepal by providing much needed vaccines and medical equipment to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. While donating 368,100 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, Canada provided Nepal with a large number of ventilators and related equipment, oxygen concentrators and personal protective equipment (PPE) between June and November in 2021.
While Canada and Nepal have enduring, exceptional and longstanding ties, bilateral trade remains modest. However, there is a tremendous potential of further trade expansion between the two countries. The duty free market access available for the Nepali products in Canada can be utilized by Nepali exporters.
The business organizations and entrepreneurs from both countries have also taken important steps to foster bilateral trade. In May 2013, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) inked a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Canada-Nepal Business Executive Committee (CNBEC) with an objective to foster business ties. With the initiatives of dynamic entrepreneurs, some organizations have also been formed in Canada, such as Canada-Nepal Business Council and Federation of Canada-Nepal Chamber of Commerce.
Nepal’s major exports to Canada include carpet, knotted wool, woollen products, dog or cat food, felt, made up articles, garments, essential oil, tea, coffee and spices. Imports to Nepal from Canada include oilseeds, dried peas, lentils, aircrafts and parts, soybeans, chickpeas, paper and machines.
The following table exhibits trends of Nepal’s trade with Canada. (In Nepalese Rupees)
As of 15 July 2020, Rs. 3.3 billion FDI has been received from Canada, which is invested in 47 different companies and they have generated 2,478 jobs.
Source: Department of Industry, Government of Nepal
Nepal has been an attractive destination for Canadian tourists and there exists a high potential to further promote Nepal’s tourism in Canada.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai inaugurated the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign in Canada amidst a special programme in Toronto on 27 September 2019. Similarly, the Embassy of Nepal organised the Launching Ceremony of the ‘Visit Nepal-2020’ in Ottawa on 7 January 2020 with the participation of a large number of tourism entrepreneurs.
Despite geographical distance, the number of tourists visiting Nepal from Canada has always been on the rise. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only small number tourists from Canada could visit Nepal in 2020 and 2021. However, following the improvement in the pandemic situation and lifting of restrictions in recent times, the tourism sector is regaining momentum.
Arrivals in Nepal from Canada in recent years are as follows:
Source: Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal; Nepal Tourism Board
People to People Relations
The friendship between Nepal and Canada has been further strengthened by growing people-to-people relations. The presence of a large number of Non-Resident Nepalis in Canada remains a strong bridge between the two countries. While playing an important role in contributing to Nepal’s development efforts, they have been enriching the multicultural heritage of Canada through Nepali language, literature, art, music, culture and cuisines.
The Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), Nepal-Canada Friendship and Cultural Association (NCFCA), Canada-Nepal Friendship and Cultural Society (CANFCS) and many other organizations and individuals have also played important roles in further consolidating relationship between the two countries and peoples.