Marking another important milestone in bilateral ties, the Nepal Foreign Affairs Ministry and the French Embassy in Nepal celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between both nations on April 20, 2019.
Speaking at the event, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that the values of equality, liberty, peace and coexistence strengthen the political, social and economic development efforts between the two countries.
He added that Nepal should look up to France for strengthened bilateral collaboration and cooperation. Nepal should prioritize enhanced economic partnership in areas of foreign direct investment, trade expansion, technology transfer and tourism linkages.
On the other hand, French Ambassador to Nepal François-Xavier Léger pointed at how the Nepal-France bilateral relation was rooted in the ‘people-to-people’ relation.
“Nepal has always remained an attractive destination for French tourists,” said Léger, while adding that more than 32,000 French people come to Nepal every year.
He also added that France is always looking for avenues to provide French aid in Nepal. During the event, he also fondly recalled the France-Nepal cooperation in mountaineering that began in the 1980s.
Goodwill Ambassador for the 70th Anniversary Shrinkhala Khatiwada said Nepal and France have are similar in terms of environmental sustainability.
She also spoke about her recent visit to France and French people’s interest towards Nepal.
The event also witnessed the participation of senior government officials and members of the diplomatic community, civil society and media among others.
Renowned artists such as Franck Bernède, Santosh Bhakta Shrestha and Bidur Rajkarnikar presented their musical talents to mark the 70th Anniversary celebrations.
Nepal and France have been instrumental in each other’s development. France stands as the fourth largest trading partner of Nepal and ranks eight in the list of Nepal import and export destinations.
Recently, the two countries signed an MoU for the former’s maiden telecommunication satellite project on March 12, 2019. The landmark satellite is expected to be launched by 2022.
France is also one of the top 10 contributors for tourists in Nepal. The Himalayan nation recorded a 7.6 percent increase in French tourists visiting the country between January 2018-February 2019.
This year, Nepal also marked the 60th Anniversary of Nepal-Pakistan bilateral ties.