Nepal-Sweden

Diplomatic Relations
Diplomatic relations between Nepal and Sweden were established on June 10, 1960. The Nepalese Ambassador in Copenhagen is concurrently accredited to Sweden. Prior to the establishment of the Nepalese Embassy in Copenhagen, Nepalese Ambassador to the United Kingdom was concurrently accredited to Sweden. Similarly, Swedish Ambassador based in New Delhi is accredited to Nepal. Both the Governments have appointed Honorary Consuls in each other’s capital cities.

Sweden’s support to the movement for democracy, peace and human rights has contributed in developing close relations between the two countries. Bilateral relations between Nepal and Sweden are based on friendliness, cooperation, equality and mutual interest. Both the countries hold similar views on many international issues, have voiced for international peace and stability, and have made significant contribution to UN peacekeeping activities.

Exchange of Visits
From Nepal: A Nepalese delegation led by Hon. Minister for Water Resources visited Nordic countries including Sweden in 1985. A parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Mr. Daman Nath Dhungana visited Sweden in 1993. Mr. Chakra Prasad Bastola, then Minister for Foreign Affairs, paid a visit to Sweden in September 2000. Leaders have visited various cities of Sweden in connection with participation in international meetings.

From Sweden: Minister for International Development Cooperation visited Nepal in 1992. King Carl Gustav XVI and Queen Sylvia made a brief transit at the Tribhuvan International Airport in 1993. Minister of Justice Mr. Thomas Bodstrom visited Nepal in January 2004.

Cooperation
Bilateral economic cooperation between Nepal and Sweden is yet to be started at a desired level. But Sweden has been supporting Nepal indirectly through multilateral agencies on training programmes aimed at rural gainful employment activities. Sweden has been funnelling its aid through the mechanisms of the European Union (EU) as well as through Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), BITS (Swedish Commission for Technical Cooperation), NGOs and UN agencies.

Sweden, which had committed to partly finance Arun III Project that was cancelled in 1995, has co-financed the Melamchi Diversion Component. It has also provided technical assistance to Land Information System Project. A number of scholarships are being offered to Nepalese personnel involved in technical fields by various Swedish agencies.

Trade/Investment/Tourism
The balance of trade between Nepal and Sweden is in favor of Sweden in the past few years, as reflected by the following table:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Value in ‘000 Rs

Year

Export

Import
Trade Balance
2009 66,464 543,787 -477,323
2010 66,498 189,666 -123,168
2011 68,096 149,469 -81,373
2012 77,798 553,609 -475,811
2013 102,358 281,042 -178,684

 Major export items to Sweden include carpet knotted of wool, garments, leather items and pashmina, while import items are machinery and parts and medical equipments.

On foreign direct investments, eight firms have been registered as of July 2012, with an investment of Rs. 27.6 million generating employment for 223 Nepali nationals.

Considering bright prospects of tourist arrival from the European countries, Sweden needs to be explored and developed as potential source country. Efforts should be made to increase cooperation with tour operators and travel agencies to attract more visitors from Sweden.  A total of 4,082 and 4,452 Swedish tourists visited Nepal in 2011 and 2012, respectively.