Nepal – France Relations
The bilateral relations between Nepal and France have remained excellent ever since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 20 April 1949. The relations between Nepal and France ever since continue to be informed by immense goodwill, trust and mutual respect on both sides. They both established their Embassies in each other’s capital in 1967. Mr. Sardul Shamsher Rana was the first residential Ambassador to France.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries organized a number of commemorative events throughout the year 2017.
Exchange of Visits
The long standing friendly ties between Nepal and France received further momentum with the various high level visits, of which the recent and prominent ones include:
From Nepali side:
Prime Minister Rt. Hon. K P Sharma Oli paid a formal visit to France on 12-14 June 2019.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology Mr. Gokul Prasad Baskota visited France on 2-8 March 2019.
Foreign Secretary Mr. Shanker Bairagi participated in the Paris Peace Forum in November 2018.
On 3 October 2006, Rt. Hon. K.P. Sharma Oli, in his capacity as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, met with the President of the French Constitutional Council Pierre Mazeau.
On 5-9 March 2001, Prime Minister Mr. Girija Prasad Koirala, paid an official visit of France.
Late King Birendra, paid a State visit to France in September 1994.
In 1995, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal paid an official visit.
In April 1995, Prime Minister Late Mr. Man Mohan Adhikary, on his way back from Denmark after attending the World Summit on Social Development, visited France.
In October 1966, Late King Mahendra, paid a State Visit to France.
From French side:
Mr. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Secretary General of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs visited Nepal on 9-10 January 2019.
On 24-26 September 2006, a delegation of French Senators led by Mr. Yvon Collin, the Chairman of France Nepal Amity Group in the French Senate.
Dr. Margie Sudre, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, visited Nepal in May 1996.
In May 1983, President Francois Mitterrand, paid a State visit to Nepal.
Nepal-France Inter Parliamentary Group
Nepal-France Inter Parliamentary Group was formed on 11 March 2018 under the chairmanship of former Prime Minster Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal. The group comprising twelve members also has four monitors. It was formed complementing the formation of France-Nepal Amity Group in the National Assembly of France in 2017.
Bilateral cooperation programme commenced in 1981. Food aid and the counterpart funds were the main form of aid since 1991. Main areas of cooperation since include national seismologic network, petroleum exploration, Water Supply Corporation, the Kavre Integrated Project and Gulmi and Arghakhanchi Rural Development Project, Panauti restoration, rehabilitation of airports, ‘food for work’, among others.
Currently, cooperation between France and Nepal is channelled through the European Union, UN agencies and NGOs. Alliance française de Katmandou teaches French and organizes cultural activities in Nepal.
Nepal exports handmade papers, carpet, handicrafts, ready-made garments, woollen goods, silver jewellery, etc. to France. Similarly, Nepal imports machinery and parts, industrial raw materials, aircraft and spare parts, telecommunications equipment, scientific research equipment etc. from France. Import value is higher than the export value, as shown below:
Value in Rs.
Year Export Import Trade balance
2015 1,293, 111,070 7,424,517,021 -6,131,405,951
2016 1,244,153,226 7,029,487,679 -5,785,334,453
2017 1,154,016,084 16,184,289,626 -15,030,273,542
2018 1,298,565,901 32,073,171,308 -30,774,605,407
2019 518,148,940 4,023,140,252 -3,504,991,312
Nepal and France have signed an agreement concerning Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment in 1983. The major areas of French investment include passport printing, hotels, medicine, aluminium products, etc. According to the statistics published by the Department of Industry, the cumulative amount of foreign direct investment from France stands at Rs. 1.03 billion until 15 July 2020. There are 107 projects operating with French investment, generating employment for 3,603 people.
Culture and Tourism
Cultural connection and people-to-people contacts between our two counties have remained vibrant throughout. The journey started by figures such as historian Sylvain Lévi and mountaineer Maurice Herzog still continues with great enthusiasm from both sides. The Allaince Francois in Kathmandu has been promoting French language and culture among interested Nepalis. A sizeable number of Nepali community live in France.
A significant number of tourists arrive in Nepal from France each year. They are interested in trekking, mountaineering, cultural heritages and other leisurely activities. The following figures show the tourist arrivals trend from France in recent years:
Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
No. of Tourists 16, 405 20,863 26,140 31,653 30,646
Source: Tourism Statistics