2017 has really been a great year for Nepal and the global Nepali community.
Fighting back social challenges and natural calamities, Nepal, in 2017, made major strides in almost all areas including inclusive development, industry and commerce, economy, politics, human rights, among various others.
Here are some of the key highlights of major developments in Nepal in 2017:
Bilateral Ties and Key Pacts
2017 has been a prosperous year for Nepal in building its image in the global arena through diplomatic ties.
On December 19, 2017, Nepal completed 60 years of its diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka.
The United States Embassy also celebrated 70 years of US-Nepal bilateral relationship on December 13, 2017.
Besides strengthening existing ties, Nepal also began its diplomatic relations with nations such as State of Eretria, Uganda and Kingdom of Bahamas.
Very recently, a new friendship association to boost Nepal-Myanmar diplomatic ties was also formed. The Myanmar-Nepal Friendship Association is the first such group formed since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1960.
Nepal also signed bilateral partnerships with various countries for cooperation across different sectors.
Nepali Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi and the Ambassador of Morocco to Nepal Mohamed Maliki signed a MoU for the formation of a bilateral consultation mechanism between Nepal and Morocco on August 3, 2017.
Nepal has also signed a Bilateral Labor Agreement with Jordan on October 18, 2017.
The Government of India also promised its investment in the Nepali industry.
In response, the Government of Nepal has very recently welcomed the Indian business community to invest in Nepal.
“It’s an opportune time to invest in Nepal with bilateral trade on the upswing,” says Embassy of Nepal Charge d’Affairs Bharat Kumar Regmi.
In a move enhancing its diplomatic ties with Nepal, the Parliament of Brazil has also formed a six-member Brazil-Nepal Parliamentary Group.
This is the first such Group in the history of Nepal-Brazil ties and is formed as a result of the recently-approved statute to promote inter-parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
In a recent meeting on December 25, 2017, Oman and Nepal discussed bilateral cooperation across various sectors, wherein, the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of Oman Ahmed Hassan Al-Dheeb welcomed collaboration with the Nepali business community across various sectors.
Earlier, Nepal had also expressed willingness to send its labor to work in Oman thus enhancing the Oman-Nepal labor cooperation.
With an aim to boost the Nepal-Austria bilateral ties, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (AFEC) had also signed a MoU on October 31, 2017.
The new collaboration will focus on enhancing private sector collaboration for promoting trade, commerce and technology transfer between the two countries.
Here, it is noteworthy that the leftist alliance, which will form the next Nepali Government, has recently announced that the new Nepali Government will maintain Nepal’s diplomatic relations with neighboring nations based on independent foreign policy.
2017 has changed the political landscape of Nepal and has, in fact, emerged as the game-changer year for the country.
Local-level polls and legislative polls, the most-awaited elections for Nepal and its citizens, were successfully held in 2017. These elections were held in the country for the first time in the last 20 years.
The local polls were held in three phases with the first two phases on May 14 and June 28, and the third phase on September 18, 2017.
Another major milestone for Nepal is the two-phase country’s parliamentary and provincial polls held on November 26, 2017 and December 7, 2017, respectively. In this election, Nepali politics saw major political shifts with the Communist alliance winning the game finally to form the next government.
Interestingly, the red flag (left parties) registered grand victory in both the landmark polls of Nepal.