Nepal Kuwait Relations
Nepal and the State of Kuwait established diplomatic relations on February 25, 1972. Nepal established its Embassy in Kuwait on 21 March 2010. Kuwait’s Embassy in New Delhi is accredited to Nepal. Both Nepal and Kuwait have been enjoying friendly and cordial relationship. The exchange of visits at various levels has strengthened bilateral relations. The two countries cooperate in the international and regional forums on matters of mutual interests. Nepal has always supported Kuwait’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Kuwait has been supporting Nepal by providing soft loans for projects, especially in the areas of hydropower generation and irrigation. The Embassy of Nepal in Kuwait in cooperation with the Government authorities, private sector entity, international organizations and various Nepali community organizations has organized a number of programs and events throughout the year 2022, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Kuwait.
Exchange of Visits
Rt. Honorable Dr. Rambaran Yadav, the then President of Nepal visited Kuwait in February 2011. He was accompanied by the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Sujata Koirala. MoU on establishment of Joint Commission between Nepal and Kuwait was signed during the visit.
Arjun Bahadur Thapa, the then Foreign Secretary paid an official visit to the State of Kuwait in 2014.
Nepal has yet to welcome high level dignitaries from Kuwait.
Nepal is recognized as a major source country for foreign workers in Kuwait. At present, an estimated 81,913 Nepali are working in Kuwait (source: The Public Authority for Civil Information, Kuwait; 1st January 2023). This constitutes about 2 percent of total workers in Kuwait. Out of the total Nepali in Kuwait, most of them work in service sector and cleaning companies, while significant number of Nepali works as Domestic Worker, Driver and Security Guard. Nepal government has stopped issuing new work permit for Nepali Domestic Workers since July 2014.
The trade relationship between Nepal and Kuwait has been growing, though the volume is minimal at present. According to Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Nepal, the total export from Nepal to Kuwait in 2021 was worth NRs. 8.141 million (USD 62,140; KD 19,150) while the import was worth NRs. 362.029 million (USD 2763.58 million; KD 849,835). The trade figure between Nepal and Kuwait is shown below:
In 000 / USD
Nepal exports carpets of wool or fine animal hair, woolen/silk shawls, veils, cotton materials, antique carpet articles, corrugated paper or paperboard, head scarves, tissues, black tea, turpentine products from wood and paper stationery etc. From Kuwait Nepal imports mineral turpentine oil, petroleum oils, air conditioner, freezers, kitchen and other household articles, blankets, lubricating oils, dates, ovens, cookers, cooking plates, gold and golden jewellery etc.
Kuwaiti citizens, especially the youth, have started visiting Nepal as tourists in an increasing number in recent times. Number of Kuwaitis visiting Nepal this year (2022, till November) has increased to 446 as compared to 107 in 2021 and 83 in 2020) (source: Immigration Department of Nepal). Nepal can be a popular tourist destination for Kuwaiti citizens in time to come. The Embassy of Nepal in Kuwait has been organizing promotional programs to set Nepal as an alternative tourist destination for Kuwaitis and boost tourist arrival in Nepal.
Nepal and Kuwait have concluded Air Services Agreement on 23 January 2006. Currently, Jazeera Airways (From 17 November 2019 to Kathmandu and from 16 May 2022 to Bhairahawa) and Kuwait Airways (From November 2022) are operating direct flights between Nepal and Kuwait. So far, Jazeera Airways is the only international airlines operating direct flight between Gautam Buddha International Airport, Bhairahawa and Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait City. Commencement of direct flight has eased the movement of people between the two countries for employment, trade, tourism and so on.
Nepal and Kuwait have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Joint Commission at the Level of the Foreign Ministers or their representatives of the two countries, which covers the entire gamut of bilateral relations. Other agreements are also in the pipelines covering the mutually beneficial areas.
Foreign Direct Investment
Though there is no direct investment in Nepal from Kuwait now, the potential for such investment exists. Nepal’s national priority sectors, such as hydropower, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture etc. can be suitable areas for Kuwaiti investment.