NEPAL – OMAN BILATERAL RELATIONS
Nepal and the Sultanate of Oman established their diplomatic relations on 21 January 1977. The relations between the two countries have always remained cordial and friendly. Mutual trust, respect, understanding and cooperation form the strong basis of bilateral relations between two countries. Prior to the opening up of residential embassy in Muscat, the Embassy of Nepal in Riyadh was concurrently accredited to the Sultanate.
The Government of Nepal opened its embassy in Muscat, the Sultanate of Oman on September 1, 2013. New chancery of the Embassy of Nepal in Muscat was formally inaugurated by H.H. Mohammad Salim Ali Al-Said, Chief of Protocol Department on November 20, 2013 at Diplomatic area of Shatti Al-Qurum and started full-fledged functioning along with Consular services. The then Foreign Secretary of Nepal Mr. Arjun Bahadur Thapa later inaugurated the Embassy at its premises on December 25, 2013. At the establishment, the Embassy was headed by Chargéd’Affaires. The embassy has been upgraded to the ambassador level with the appointment of H.E. SarmilaParajuli Dhakal, extraordinary and plenipotentiary as the first Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman. The establishment of the new embassy has unlocked new potentials of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of tourism, trade and investment, and Human Resources utilization in favour of both countries.
Nepal and the Sultanate of Oman share similar views on several global agenda and issues. Both countries are the members of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), G-77, and some other international forums. They have been working together and also playing an active role in these forums for the promotion of international peace and security, collective progress, prosperity and wellbeing of global citizens.
Exchange of Visits
Regular exchange of visits and interactions at different levels between the leaders from both countries have contributed to foster goodwill and understanding between the two countries. This also provides great opportunities for both countries to broaden and deepen their bonds of friendship and ties that have been subsisting so happily for several years.
Details of Visits from Omani Side:
- E. Abdul Salam M. Al Murshidi, President of State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman and some officials from the Oman Chamber of Commerce visited Nepal on 2019/03/29-30 to participate in Nepal Investment Summit 2019. During the visit delegation paid courtesy calls on Rt. Hon. Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, Hon. Finance Minister, Hon. Foreign Minister and other high dignitaries. The delegation had expressed the willingness to invest in some specific fields such as energy, water, infrastructure and tourism in near future.
- A technical team of the Ministry of Manpower of the Sultanate of Oman comprised of H.E. Mr. Salim bin Said Al Badi- Director General of Labour Welfare, Abdullaziz Bin Hamed Al Rawahi- Director of Legal Department; Mr. Abdullah Bin Murad Al Mullahi– Director of International Organizations & Foreign Relations visited Nepal on 01-04 May 2019to finalize the proposed MOU in the field of labour.The Meeting considered on various issues to under the MOU.
Details of Visits from Nepali Side:
- The Right Honourable Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal paid an Official Visit to the Sultanate of Oman between 25-28 September 2017. The Rt. Hon’ble Prime Minister was accompanied by Hon’ble Mr. Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs; Hon’ble Mr. Farmullah Mansoor, Minister for Labour and Employment; Hon’ble Ms. Asha Koirala, Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare; Dr. Dinesh Bhattarai, Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister and Mr. Shanker Das Bairagi, Foreign Secretary, among others. MOU on Bilateral Consultation Mechanism between the Foreign Ministries of both countries was signed on 27 September 2017 during the visit.The mechanism provides the platform for enhancing bilateral relations and sharing views on ways and means for further strengthening bilateral ties.
- DPM and Health & Population Minister Mr. Upendra Yadav paid a short visit to Oman on 14 April 2019 during his visit to Ethiopia leading a delegation to a participate in a program organized by WTO.
- Jitendra Dev Yadav, the then Tourism Minister, paid an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman to participate in the second “UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture” organized by the Sultanate on 11-12 December 2017. Hon. Minister was accompanied by the officials from the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.
- Mr. Bhim Rawal, former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Home Affairs and vice-chairman of CPN (UML), MP, was in a three-day private visit in Oman from 23 to 25 February 2017.
- E. Mr. Min Bahadur Shrestha, Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission and Mr. Lal Shankar Ghimire, Joint Secretary of NPC were in 3 days official visit in Oman from 27- 29 November 2016. They participated in Tanfeed program of the Government of the Sultanate of Oman.
- Mr. Bal Krishna Khand, the then Minister for Defence, was in transit in Oman on 29 October 2016 while returning to Nepal from France.
- Mr. Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs, was in transit in Oman on 24th October 2014 while returning to Nepal from Pakistan after extending invitation of 18th SAARC Summit.
- Mr. Raj Nath Pandey, Head of the Public Account Committee representing the Audit Committee of the Parliament of Nepal, along with other MPs of Nepal including Hon. Mrs. Chanda Chaudhary visited the Embassy of Nepal on 04 July 2019 during 7 hrs. transit while returning to Nepal from London, UK.
- Ram Prasad Ghimire, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) visited Oman leading a technical team from Nepal comprising ofMr. Fanindra Gautam, Jt. Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Mr. Dipak Dhakal, Undersecretary, MoLESS; Mr. Suresh Adhikari, Undersecretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Suresh Subedi, Section Officer, MoLESS, visited the Sultanate of Oman on 26-29 January 2019
- A six-Member Nepalese delegation led by Mr. Jay Narayan Acharya, Under Secretary, Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministries visited Oman from 26-30 July 2014.
- Suresh Man Shrestha, the then Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation paid a three days official visit to Oman. During his visit, a memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Air services was signed on 28 December 2014 which increased the flight frequency between two countries up to twenty-one flight a week, which was seven flights a week according to the earlier MOU signed on 2 December 1997.
- Arjun Bahadur Thapa, the then Foreign Secretary accompanied by Mr. Kali Prasad Pokharel, the then Chief of Protocol and Mr. Buddhi Khadka, Joint Secretary of Labour Ministry paid an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman on 23-26 December 2013. During the visit, Mr. Arjun Bahadur Thapa inaugurated newly opened Embassy at its premises.
- At the invitation of the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, an official delegation led by the then Minister for Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. RanadhirSubba had represented Nepal at 15th National Day of Oman in November 1985.
- Late King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya paid visit to Oman in 1986.
Since both countries are endowed with abundant natural resources, there exists tremendous scope for promoting further cooperation between the two countries in the fields of investment, trade, tourism and human resource utilization. Nepal could be a destination country for tourism, trade and investment opportunity for Omani nationals. Both Nepal and Oman should further strengthen their economic ties in the domain of having their competitive strength.
Virtually there is no investment in Nepal from Omani nationals. However, Nepal could become a destination choice for investment opportunity in Nepal. Nepal has adopted liberal economic policies sinceearly 1990s.In line with that policy and in order to incorporate positive effects of globalization, the Government of Nepal is in the process of making adjustment to various rules and regulations relating to business and investment climate in order to ensure an investment-friendly environment in the country and accelerate the momentum of economic transformation. Necessary changes are, therefore, being made in the foreign direct investment policies, procedures, laws and regulations. There are no legal and practical barriers to hinder investment proceeds. Separate Investment Board is formed to this effect and materialize one window policy to allure investors globally.
The trade between Nepal and Oman is negligible and is highly in favor of the Sultanate of Oman. Nepal imports mainly Organic Compound, Plate Sheet, Film, Foil, Strip of Plastic, Motor Car and Parts of Accessories of Motor Vehicle. Nepal exports mainly carpets, knotted of wool or fine animal hair. According to Department of Customs, Nepal exported items of USD 8,275 and imported items of 16.7 Million USD (2018/19). There is high need of enhancing trade relations in the interest of both Countries and in line with Nepal Government to reduce trade export import ratio to 1:10.5 by next five years. If explored and pursued, Nepalese tea, Yarchagumba (Cordyceps sinensis), Shila jeet (Mountain Tar),PanchAunle (Dactylorhizahatagirea), vegetables, honey, handicrafts, carpet, pasmina, seem to be viable and profitable exportable items to Oman. In order to explore the possibility of trade between the two countries and establish trade linkages, frequent regular meetings and discussion between the two Chambers of Commerce and Industries as well as between businessmen of the two countries may prove useful.
It would be in the interest of both countries to explore and expand the areas of co-operation in trade, investment, services, and infrastructure development with each other.
Tourism sector is a very potential sector considering the enchanting beauty of both countries. So far, there is very few numbers of Omani tourists visiting Nepal. Nepal could provide best alternative ambience for Omani tourists to spend their holidays away from the bustle of modernity. There is indeed a great potential for attracting Omanis through dissemination and publicity of natural beauty, culture and hospitable nature of Nepalese people. Nepal can be destination of choice for Omanis. The embassy needs to be enriched with enough resources to effectively play its role in this regard. The Ministry may advise the concerned government authorities, including Nepal Tourism Board (NTB), to produce tourism promotion materials in Arabic Language, which might help promoting Nepal in whole Arabic Region.
Labour Diplomacy is one of the aspects of economic diplomacy of Nepal. Due to insufficient absorption capacity of Nepalese economy large number of youths are migrating out of country for employment opportunities. The sultanate of Oman is among the preferred destinations for employment opportunities for Nepali workers. The flow of Nepali people to Oman is increasing every year numbering to 16,846 (www.ncsi.gov.om) till the end of June 2019.
Dedication to work, loyalty, sincerity and integrity are some attributes of Nepalese workers that have enabled them to earn the trust and goodwill of the people and the Government of the Sultanate of Oman. The prospect of employment in Oman is ever growing following the massive construction of infrastructures and real estates and their modernization in Oman.
Special Relations to be noted with high priority:
After the massive earthquake of 25 April 2015, Oman appointed H.E. Mr. Farhad as a special envoy to Nepal to coordinate rescue and relief activities for a month. The Government of Sultanate of Oman sent 40 trained personnel for after-quake rescue operation in Nepal immediately after 25 April 2015 when the disastrous quake hit Nepal. The Sultanate also offered a substantive scale of relief materials to the quake-hit people. Oman Charitable Organization sent medicines and other materials to Nepal for the needy people. The embassy, with the help of Nepalese community in Oman collected nearly 1,35,00,000 NRS as relief for the earthquake victims and sent to the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.
MOUs between Nepal and Oman
- MOU on Bilateral Consultations, 27 September 2017
- MOU on Air services, 28 December 2014
MOUs/Agreement under Pipeline
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Labour.
- Agreement for the “Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income”
- Agreement on “Visa Exemption for Diplomatic and Official/Service Passports”
- MOU in the “field of Tourism Cooperation”
- MOU in the “Cultural and Museum Fields”
Embassy of Nepal,
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman