Nepal and Finland established diplomatic relations on 21 September 1974. The relations between the two countries have been marked by friendship, cordiality and cooperation. The Finnish Embassy was opened in Kathmandu at the Charge d’ Affaires level in 1992, which was upgraded with the appointment of its Ambassador from September, 2011. Nepal has no residential Embassy in Helsinki. The Embassy of Nepal in Copenhagen is concurrently accredited to Finland. Prior to the establishment of Nepalese Embassy in Copenhagen, Nepalese Ambassador to the United Kingdom was concurrently accredited to Finland.
Bilateral consultations on development cooperation were held between Nepal’s Ministry of Finance and Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2003, 2007, 2010 and January 2013 in Kathmandu.
Exchange of Visits
Among several high-level visits have taken place between Nepal and Finland, including:
Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ paid an official visit to Finland on April 1-3, 2009 at the friendly invitation of the Prime Minister of Finland H.E. Mr. Matti Vanhanen. The then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms Sujata Koirala visited Finland in March 2010.
Finnish Foreign Trade and Development Minister Mr. Paavo Vayrynen’s visited Nepal on 3 February 2009. Ms. Heidi Hautala, Minister for International Development visited Nepal from December 2-6, 2011.
Finnish cooperation in Nepal began in 1982 with the grant assistance of 6000 MT of chemical fertilizers. Such assistance has increased and widened in recent years. Earlier the Finnish development programme in Nepal was focused on energy, forestry and water resources. In recent days, Finnish development cooperation has been shifted towards alleviation of poverty, sustainable development, and promotion of democracy, human rights and participatory system of governance.
Nepal is one of Finland’s eight long-term development partner countries, along with Mozambique, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia and Kenya in Africa, Nicaragua in Latin America and Vietnam in Asia. In addition to water and sanitation, education and environment sectors, Finland has supported in Nepal’s Peace Trust Fund, OHCHR as well as Nepalese NGOs. Finland provided US$22 million in the Fiscal 2010-2011.
Trade between Nepal and Finland is sill insignificant, as shown in the table below:
Value in ’000 Rs.
Source: TEPC, Nepal
A MoU between FNCCI and its Finnish counterpart was signed in 1993 during then Nepalese Prime Minister’s Visit to Finland. Similarly, an agreement between Nepal and Finland on Promotion and Protection of Investment was signed l on 3 February 2009.
On investment, the Department of Industry data revealed that there were 5 joint ventures with the Finnish investment of Rs. 2.5 million until July 2012, which created 149 jobs.
Though the number at present is not very considerable, there is prospect of attracting more tourists from Finland. In 2011 and 2012, Finnish visitors travelling to Nepal stood at 2,276 and 2,464 respectively.