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Nepal’s Non-aligned Foreign Policy and Economic Diplomacy in the Current Context

The Nepal Council of World Affairs organized a program on the topic “Nepal’s non-aligned foreign policy and economic diplomacy in the current context” through a virtual internet medium. The chief guest of the interaction program was Hon’ble Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.

Welcoming the participants President of NCWA, Mr. Hemant Kharel, said that the Non-Aligned Movement started from Belgrade in 1961 and now it has 120 member countries, 17 observers and 10 international organizations’ support to the movement. He expressed the view that non-aligned nations should pursue a policy of peaceful coexistence and non-interference in internal affairs of other countries while conducting international relations. Nepal is one of the founding members of NAM committed to protecting sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence in order to enhance Nepal’s prestige by adopting the same policy and also contributing to the establishment of world peace, harmony and tranquility while promoting economic prosperity and social wellbeing of Nepal. Similarly, he expressed his views that government of Nepal has been mobilizing its missions abroad through economic diplomacy for attracting foreign direct investment, promoting trade and business, promoting tourism and foreign employment, and bringing in appropriate technology. Due to Nepal’s geostrategic location, more attention needs to be paid to strengthening of relations with its neighboring countries, India and China. Nepal needs to work in its national interest without leaning too much on one neighbor at the expense of another. Similarly, it should create an environment for the maintenance of good relations with other neighboring countries as well as the powerful nations of the world in order to bring in prosperity and happiness to the people of Nepal. In the end, he said that the Non-Aligned Movement, in the present changed context, would be more meaningful if it also created an environment of investment and cooperation among the nations involved in the Non-Aligned Movement.

Discussing Nepal’s economic diplomacy, the Foreign Minister said that from the economic point of view, Nepal could reap huge benefits by attracting investment from emerging economies of the world, India and China. The general dispute over the border between China and India for some time seemed to have some effect on Nepal. However, the bilateral talks between the Chinese and Indian high officials meeting in Moscow to resolve the internal conflict was positive, he said. He highlighted that ‘we are not in the habit of closing one door and opening another, we should be happy for stability in the neighborhood’. He also said that Nepal’s relations with India could not be damaged due to its close cultural and emotional ties. We have strengthened the historical ties with the two neighboring countries and assured them that we do not want to get involved in disputes between the two countries.

Responding to the queries raised by experts on various aspects including Nepal’s economic, diplomatic, security and border disputes, he said that we would implement the principles of sovereign equality and work in Nepal’s interest in its relations with China and India.

A vote of thanks was offered by the NCWA Secretary Mr. Bhuvan Pathak, moderated by the Treasurer of the Council, Mr. Rabindra Nath Bhattarai. The program was attended by a large number of experts and specialists’ members of the council in various fields.