With the signing of an agreement, the economic and technical cooperation between two countries started since 1959. The then Soviet Union had extended important, economic and development cooperation to Nepal’s development efforts. Their cooperation in building physical and industrial infrastructure also contributed to accelerate the modernization process in Nepal. The USSR provided assistance to Nepal for the setting up of Kanti Hospital, Panauti Hydro electric power station, Pathalaiya Dhalkebar Highway, Janakpur Cigarette Factory, Agricultural Tools factory, Birgunj Sugar Mill and Rosin and Turpentine Plant in western Nepal.
There is ample scope in promoting economic cooperation between Nepal and Russia, especially in the field of trade and investment in energy, tourism and infrastructure development.
Balance of trade of Nepal with Russia has remained negative for Nepal over the past few years. Nepal’s major exports to the Russia consist of Hand Knitted Carpet, Coffee, Tea, Mate and Spices; paper and paperboard; and artifact, collectors’ pieces and antiques.Articles of apparel, clothing accessories – knitted or non-knitted, crocheted; essential oils, perfumes, cosmetics and shawls are also the part of our export.
Nepal mainly imports electrical equipment, industrial raw material, parts of airplane and helicopter from the Russian Federation. Nepal also imports copper and its derivatives, edible vegetables oils, oils seeds, miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruits from Russia.
Trade in Figure of last five years
|Year||Export (US$)||Import (US$)||Balance (US$)|
Source: Nepal Export and Promotion Centre
The first meeting of the Nepal-Russia Joint Working Group on Energy Cooperation was held in Kathmandu on August 28th, 2013 that discussed the potential investment in hydropower and development of mega hydro projects in Nepal. The Project Description & Salient features of the Dudhkoshi Basa Hydroelectric Project (105 MW) and the salient features of the Madi-Ishaneshor Storage Hydroelectric Project (86 MW) were transmitted to the Russian side for Investment potential
A joint venture in the area of gliding service has been operating with the financial collaboration of Russian investor. According to the statistics published by the Department of Industry, 20 joint ventures registered until July 2012 that brought in Russian investment of Rs. 157 million creating 880 jobs.
The Russia’s national flag carrier, the Aeroflot Airline,closed its flight to Kathmandu from January 13, 2002 due to the profit loss in this sector. However, it maintains its rights to operate direct flights to Kathmandu and mentions that it will resume its flight provided that it is commercially viable. In the absence of the direct light from Moscow to Kathmandu, Russian tourists have been travelling to Nepal via circuitous route. According to the official record about 9,673 Russians travelled to Nepal in 2012 and 8,213 in 2013. There is no data available for the year 2014. The Nepal tourism statistics reveals that 4,895 Russians nationals visited Nepal in 2015 and 4,998 in 2016 with average 16.60 days long stay. The Nepal Tourism Board has started arranging family-trips. In the beginning of the 2017, about 12 Russian tours and travel agents took part in family-trip of Nepal. Such types of programs are expected to help promote the image of Nepal in Russia and encourage the Russian nationals to visit Nepal.
The former Soviet Union was one of the most attractive destinations for education to the Nepalese students. They started coming here for higher studies particularly in the fields of medicine, engineering and lawsince 1960s. A large number of the highly skilled manpower was trained in the then USSR. After the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, some of the Nepalese students have also been studying in the Russian Federation and other former Soviet Republics on self-finance basis. At present, the Russian Federation is providing very limited number of scholarships to the Government of Nepal in different fields of education.