200 Years of Nepal-Britain Relations

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200 Years of Nepal-Britain Relations

Nepal-British friendly and mutually rewarding relations spanned more than two hundred years. After the Sugauli treaty of 1816 a watershed treaty of friendship was signed in 1923 that was very vital towards fortifying our independence and sovereignty. UK and Nepal are tied together in development endeavors, safety and security through Nepali soldiers, and long term support in the struggle for democratic peace in Nepal.

This seminar was organized to make both British and Nepali people aware about the excellent state of our friendship and discuss on way forward towards enhanced economic and developmental relationship. It was also to kick-start the celebration of bicentennial of our sustained and mutually beneficial relations.

The “Gurkhas’” service in the British army officially started on April 24, 1815. Nepalese soldiers were taken into the British Indian Army in large numbers and have won 13 Victoria Crosses (VC), the highest British gallantry honor. In the days to come there is need to review and assess the contributions and achievements made by the Nepalese soldiers during World War I and II and assess on other various issues of the Gurkha recruitment in the British army.

British support to Nepal started in 1961 and continued with their volunteers, scholarships and many other developmental activities through DFID. From £18.52 million in 2000-2001 the British support has been estimated to be a whopping £103 million this Fiscal year. This is the biggest contributor from amongst the friendly countries for Nepal’s overall development.

Nepal exports Pashmina shawls, goatskin, leather goods, Nepalese paper and paper products, woollen carpets, handicrafts, ready-made garments, silverware and jewellery, whereas we import copper scrap, hard drinks, cosmetics, medicine and medical equipment, textiles, copper wire rod, machinery and parts, aircraft and spare parts, scientific research equipment, office equipment and stationery. The trade is in favor to Britain necessitating a joint review to bridge the gap of trade deficits of Nepal. During Bicentennial celebration marketing Nepal as one of the most beautiful country with home of majestic Mount Everest and birth place of Lord Buddha may trigger the influx of tourists from Britain.

The robust interactions of all the participants are testimony of Nepal-British excellent friendship for last two hundred years.