Nepal-Bangladesh Relations

Nepal and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh established diplomatic relations on 08 April 1972. The relations between the two countries are based on goodwill, mutual understanding and cooperation. Nepal was the 7th country to extend recognition to Bangladesh by establishing diplomatic relations as early as 1972.

The exchange of visits at various levels has strengthened the relations between the two countries. At the invitation of the Rt. Hon. Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal, H. E. Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid, President of Bangladesh, paid an official goodwill visit to Nepal on 12 – 15 November 2019.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Pradeep Kumar Gyawali paid an official visit to Bangladesh on 17-19 February 2020 at the invitation of H. E. Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, MP, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. During the visit, the two Ministers held an official bilateral meeting that deliberated on various matters of mutual interest such as the expansion of bilateral trade, development of multimodal transport and connectivity networks, improved transit facilities and promotion of investment, among others.

Nepal and Bangladesh work closely on issues of common interests and share similar views at various regional and international forums, including SAARC, BIMSTEC and the United Nations.

A Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Foreign Office Consultations mechanism at the Foreign Secretary level was signed in July 2012 in Dhaka. The mechanism reviews the entire gamut of bilateral relations between the two countries. The second round of consultations was held in Dhaka in October 2017.

There is tremendous potential for expanding and diversifying trade between the two countries. Nepal’s exports to Bangladesh constitute mainly vegetables, lentils, oil seeds, fruits, miscellaneous grains, and medicinal plants. Imports from Bangladesh include fruit juices, paper and paperboard, jute and other textiles, raw materials, etc.

Following the opening of Kakarbhitta-Phulbari-Banglabandha transit route in 1997, Bangladesh has permitted Nepal to use the port facilities in Mongla. Bangladesh has also provided additional rail transit corridor to Nepal via Rohanpur (Bangladesh)- Singhabad (India).

Nepal-Bangladesh Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was set up at the level of Finance Ministers in 1978. The areas of cooperation are joint venture sectors like banking, finance and insurance.  New initiatives are being undertaken in the field of readymade garments, leather goods, pharmaceuticals, and PVC pipes.

Nepal and Bangladesh signed an Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income on 5 March 2019.

The fourth meeting of Nepal-Bangladesh Technical Committee for promotion of trade between two countries was held in October 2019 in Kathmandu. Likewise, the fifth Nepal-Bangladesh commerce secretary-level meeting was held in Dhaka on 3-4 March 2020.

Bilateral trade statistics of the last five years are given below:

Value in ‘000 NRS.

Year Imports from Bangladesh Exports from Nepal Trade Balance
2015 2,399,768 703,960 -1,695,808
2016 5,014,049 1,388,496 -3,625,553
2017 4,052,212 1,020,740 -3,625,553
2018 4,783,283 1,304,790 -3,478,492
2019 1,999,093 320,610 -1,678,483

Source: Trade and Export Promotion Center, GON, 2019

As per the air services agreement between the two countries, state owned airlines of Bangladesh- Biman Bangladesh as well as some private airlines have been operating flights in Dhaka-Kathmandu-Dhaka sector on a daily basis. This has contributed to promote tourism industry and enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries. Tourists arrival from Bangladesh to Nepal in the last five years are given below:

Year No. of Tourists
2015 14,831
2016 23,440
2017 29,060
2018 26,355
2019 25,849

Source: – Nepal Tourism Statistics, 2019

The Government of Bangladesh offers seats to Nepali students in the fields of medicine and engineering every year. In addition, hundreds of Nepali students have been pursuing higher studies on self-finance basis largely in medical, dental science and engineering fields in various institutions of Bangladesh.