Nepal and Denmark established diplomatic relations on 15 December 1967. Denmark opened its residential Embassy in Kathmandu in April 1992 at the level of Charge d’ Affaires, e. p., which is now upgraded to ambassadorial level. Nepal decided to establish its residential Embassy in Denmark in 2007 at the Charge d’ Affairs a.i. level, which was later on upgraded to the Ambassadorial level following the appointment of Mr. Vijay Kant Lal Karna by the Government of Nepal as the first residential Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nepal to the Kingdom of Denmark and his presentation of credentials to Her Majesty the Queen Margrethe II on 28 March 2008. Upon completion of the tour of duty of Mr. Karna, the Government of Nepal appointed H.E. Muktinath Bhatta as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, who presented his credentials to Her Majesty the Queen on 11 May 2012. Prior to the establishment of residential Embassy in Copenhagen, Nepalese Ambassador to the United Kingdom was concurrently accredited to the Kingdom of Denmark. Relations between Nepal and Denmark have always remained friendly and cordial.
Exchange of Visits
Late King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya paid a State Visit to Denmark from 13 to 23 October 1989. A six-member Nepalese parliamentary delegation led by the then Speaker Mr. Daman Nath Dhungana visited Denmark in 1992. The then Prime Minister late Man Mohan Adhikary visited Denmark to represent Nepal at the World Summit for Social Development in March 1995. The then Minister for Foreign Affairs Chakra Prasad Bastola paid an official visit to Denmark on 3-5 April 2001.
The then Hon. Minister for Commerce and Supplies Mr. Rajendra Mahato visited Denmark in 2009 to participate Nepal Trade Fair 2009. Then Foreign Minister Mr. Upendra Yadav, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala visited Denmark in 2008 and in March 2010 respectively. The Hon. Mr. Barshaman Pun “Ananta” Minister for Finance visited Denmark on 14- 21 March 2012. Similarly from Denmark, a Parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker Mr. Erling Olsen paid a visit to Nepal in 1995, which was followed by the Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Danish Parliament in 2006. H. E. Mrs. Ulla Torneas, Development Cooperation Minister visited Nepal from 19 to 22 September 2006. A delegation led by Minister for Development Cooperation Mr. Soren Pind, visited Nepal from 7 to 10 April 2010. Undersecretary for Asia Ms. Sus Ulbaek visited Nepal on April 11, 2011 to participate in the consultation meeting.
Denmark has been extending support to Nepal since the establishment of its Mission in Kathmandu and it has further enhanced its commitment to Nepal’s development efforts recently. As a result, Denmark has become one of the largest donors of Nepal. The shared value of parliamentary democracy has also contributed to bringing the two countries closer to each other.
Nepal is one of the 20 priority countries for Danish programme cooperation. Economic cooperation between Nepal and Denmark was initiated in 1973 for dairy development. In 1980 Danish Government converted all outstanding loans into grant.
Bilateral annual aid negotiations are held every year in Kathmandu. The latest Nepal Denmark High Level Consultation Meeting was held on 11 April, 2011 in Kathmandu. Denmark has also selected 15 programme countries including Nepal for long term program cooperation. Denmark also provides technical assistance in the form of advisors and scholarships. In recent years, it has focused its economic cooperation in the areas of private sector development for which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 11 August 2000. Under the provision of the MOU, the Government of Denmark has provided funds for the establishment of the Private Sector Development Unit at the Royal Danish Embassy in Kathmandu for administering the programme, carrying out feasibility studies and appraisals, and exchange of visits of business delegations for participating in trade fairs in Denmark, among others.
After implementation the programme for over a decade that helped in strengthening the capacity of Nepali companies through the transfer of knowledge, sustainable business practices, technology and innovative solutions from the Danish companies in agriculture, health, IT, handicraft, waste management and tourism sector, Nepal and Denmark signed a new MoU for DANIDA Business Partnership Programme on 12.06.2014 with a view to continue supporting partnerships between private companies from Nepal and Denmark, which has become an important tool for attracting foreign investments and creating jobs in Nepal. It is hoped that the signing of the new MoU will bring the Danish companies with their expertise and knowhow to Nepal making contribution in creating employment, strengthening business competitiveness and promoting corporate social responsibility. The focus of the programme includes generating green economic growth, promoting better living/working conditions and reducing poverty in Nepal.
Denmark provided a total of US$ 38.12 and US$ 33.17 million to Nepal in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Thus, Denmark provides approximately US$ 35 million excluding the supplement made by Danish civil societies, private sector, cultural institutions and education and research institutions.
With the signing of an agreement between the Government of Nepal and the Government of Denmark on 4th April 2007 concerning support to the Nepal Peace Trust Fund (NPTF), the Government of Denmark has been supporting ‘Nepal Peace Trust Fund’. As per the agreement, the Government of Denmark made a contribution of DKK 10 million (NRP 120 million) to the Nepal Peace Trust Fund. The Government of Denmark has also been extending support to Nepal in case of emergencies. It had contributed an amount of 1 million DKK (equivalent to NRS 11.6 million) as an immediate assistance for flood victims in Nepal in August 2007. Similarly, Denmark had provided DKK 31.3 million for the immediate relief of the victims of the earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015 through UNICEF, WFP and Danish NGOs.
The Objective of Danish development cooperation is poverty reduction, lasting peace, respect for human rights and economic growth mainly focused on human rights and good governance, education, renewable energy, business partnership and peace process. The programmes are aimed at poverty alleviation with cross cutting issues such as gender, environment, democratization and human rights. The strategy for Denmark’s Development Cooperation has a strong theme of “Right to a Better Life” giving high priority to human-rights based approach to development in developing partner countries like Nepal.
Some Major Projects Completed under Danish Assistance include Education for All, Secondary Education Support Program, Kailali-Kanchanpur Rural Eletrification, Revenue Administration Support, Strengthening the Capacity of the National Human Right Commission of Nepal, Support to Participatory Constitution Building, Support for the Election Commission, human rights, Democracy and Inclusion Fund, etc. Denmark has also been supporting the Nepal Peace Trust Fund (NPTF) since 2007.
Nepal primarily exports handicrafts, silver products, ready-made garments, woolen goods, paper and paper products, etc. and imports machinery and parts, medicine and medical equipment, industrial raw materials, food and edible items, etc. from Denmark. The following figure shows that Nepal’s balance of trade with Denmark is heavily in favour of Denmark, except for the year 2012:
|Value in 000 Rs.|
|2013||240 million||208 million||32 million|
(Source: TEPC, Nepal)
Under Danish investment, a total of 28 joint ventures were established until 2013 which had an FDI of Rs. 259.54 million and created 1,304 jobs.
In 2014, tourist arrivals from Denmark stood at 5,150.
Denmark, sometimes in the capacity of lead member and often as an active member of the Core Working Group (CWG), has been supporting the process of third country resettlement of the Bhutanese refugees staying in Nepal. In the course of third country resettlement, more than 600 Bhutanese refugees have been resettled in the Kingdom of Denmark and the resettlement programme is expected to continue for some years to come.