Strengthening traditional friendship between Vietnam and Nepal

Friday, 2019-05-10 13:19:30
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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and his Nepali counterpart KP Sharma Oli during their meeting on the sidelines of the annual Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, in January 2019 (Photo: VNA)
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NDO - At the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and his spouse are paying an official visit to Vietnam, during which he will attend the UN Day of Vesak 2019.

This is the first official visit made by a Nepali Prime Minister to Vietnam since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1975. It is also the first visit to the Southeast Asian region made by KP Sharma Oli since he was sworn in as Nepali Prime Minister in February 2018.

The visit is a significant political event, contributing to strengthening the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Nepal in all areas, meeting the aspiration of the two peoples. The country experiences a tropical monsoon climate, but due to its special topography, it becomes colder and more snowy in the north. Nepal possesses many high mountains, including Mount Everest, which is known as the "Roof of the World". Nepali is the official language in this South Asian country, which is spoken by about 47.8% of the population. English is also commonly used in the county. Regarding State institutions, Nepal is a country with parliamentary democracy; the Federal Parliament consists of the National Assembly, as upper house, and the House of Representatives, as lower house.

Vietnam and Nepal set up their diplomatic relations in 1975. Over the past 44 years, the sound traditional friendship between Vietnam and Nepal has continuously been nurtured and developed by the two countries’ leaders and peoples. Nepali people always have sincere and deep sentiment towards Vietnamese friends and support Vietnam’s struggle for national independence and reunification.

We are glad to see that the Vietnam – Nepal bilateral cooperation has been fostered in diverse areas such as politics, economy and tourism. Cooperation through the Party channel between the two sides has been well maintained while the exchanges of delegations at ministerial and local levels have been kept regularly. Leaders of the two countries have regularly exchanged messages of congratulations on each other’s major events. Most recently, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met his Nepali counterpart KP Sharma Oli on the sidelines of the the annual Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, January 2019.

The bilateral economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and Nepal has witnessed encouraging signs over recent years. In April 2018, Nepal sent a business delegation to seek partnership opportunities in Vietnam and attend the Vietnam Expo 2018. Nepal also hosted trade promotion activities in Ho Chi Minh City in March this year.

By September 2018, two-way trade reached around US$38 million. Vietnam’s exports to Nepal were mostly peppercorn and plastic products. Currently, the Viettel Military Industry-Telecommunication Group is exploring investment opportunities in Nepal.

Vietnamese and Nepali people have provided mutual support for each other. Vietnam offered US$50,000 in aid to help Nepal deal with earthquake consequences in 2015. Nepal has positively supported Vietnam in citizen protection. The two sides are working together on the signing of an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, and the establishment of a bilateral consultation mechanism between the two foreign ministries.

The Vietnam-Nepal Friendship Association was established in September 2014, serving as a friendly bridge linking the bilateral friendship.

Cultural and tourism cooperation as well as people-to-people exchange have also seen bright prospects of development, while the two sides have shown mutual support and collaboration on many regional and international issues at international forums, especially the UN.

Nepal has backed Vietnam’s market economy and candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and the role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. At the same time, Vietnam has supported Nepal in running for a seat at the UN Human Rights Council.

Taking place at a time when Vietnam – Nepal relations have favourably developed, the Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s official visit to Vietnam and attendance at the UN Day of Vesak 2019 aims to reaffirm the determination of leaders and peoples of both countries to further strengthen the traditional friendship and consolidate political trust between the two sides.

The visit offers a good occasion for the two sides to discuss measures to accelerate bilateral cooperation across various fields, as well as discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large.

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