Nepal Time Zone UTC+05:45

 Capital City Kathmandu

 Currency Nepalese rupee


National Day 28 May 

His Excellency Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi
Embassy of Nepal
12A Kensington Palace Gardens
London W8 4QU
T: 020 7229 1594/6231/5352
F: 020 7792 9861

Dr Durga Bahadur Subedi joined the Nepalese Foreign Service in 1987, at just 20 years old.   “A desire to contribute to making peace in [his] country and around the globe in some small way drew [him] to diplomacy.” He describes becoming Nepal’s Ambassador to the UK as “a dream come true. It was an honour to present my Letters of Credence to Her Majesty.” Inspired by the life and work of The Queen, he says “In a fast-changing world, Her Majesty has served as an enduring source of strength and inspiration for us all.”

The Ambassador returns to the UK after a period studying here for his Masters at Leeds University in the early 1990s. Living here, he learnt that the British attach great importance to their friendship with the Nepalese. “The Nepalese, however, also hold the British in high esteem, admiring their dedication to justice, liberty, education, humanity, and human civilisation,” he says.

Dr Subedi explains that Nepal was little known to the rest of the world until the advent of democracy in 1951. Hugely proud of his homeland, he says: “Nepal is a land of culture, nature and adventure. A treasure trove of natural and cultural heritages, Nepal is the land of majestic mountains including the Mount Everest, the birth place of Lord Buddha and home to the temple of the Lord Pashupatinath, a holy place for Hindu devotees.” He continues: “Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-linguistic and multi-cultural country. It is an independent, sovereign, secular, inclusive and federal democratic republican state. Nepal’s diplomacy is dynamic, keeping abreast of the changing global environment.” He explains that a new democratic constitution was promulgated in September 2015, “marking the conclusion of the peace process and the end of a long political transition in Nepal.”

Currently, Nepal is chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and the Bay of Bengal Imitative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). These roles require “Nepal to have a steadfast commitment to regional integration and cooperation, which are indispensable for the overall development, stability, peace and prosperity of the region.”

Nepal and the UK established diplomatic relations in 1816, and the UK was the first country to have an Embassy in Kathmandu. “Friendship, mutual understanding, cordiality, cooperation and respect for each other’s national interests and aspirations have characterised the relationship ever since.” Dr Subedi is keen to highlight the Gurkha soldiers and their families, who were recently given rights to settle in the UK. “This history of the Gurkha soldiers’ service, sacrifice and bravery, leaves a heritage of deep and sincere friendship in the history of our two countries.” Today, he continues, “the UK is one of Nepal’s biggest bilateral development partners, and has significantly contributed to improving socio-economic conditions in the country. He is grateful to the British government’s “commitment to enhance its support and cooperation for the post-earthquake reconstruction.”

He outlines how Nepal has been pursuing a liberal foreign investment policy and striving to create an investment environment to attract FDI into the country. “It is hearting to note,” he says, “that Nepal’s trade with overseas countries, including the UK, is on the rise.” There’s still plenty to do as the Nepali government encourages foreign investment in various sectors such as tourism, agriculture, education and health-related facilities, financial services, information technology and biotechnology-related industries, export-oriented industries, excavating natural resources and constructing toll roads. Furthermore, the Nepali government believes that hydropower is “essential to the country’s economic prosperity. It is estimated that Nepal’s rivers have the largest potential in the world, but we have only been able to harness a small percentage of these resources so far.” Dr Subedi confesses, “The challenge for any Nepalese diplomat is how to take the reality of Nepal and share it more widely,” and adds, “Getting Nepal and the Nepalese people better known in Britain is my priority.”

The months ahead will be busy, as Britain and Nepal continue to celebrate their bicentenary of diplomatic relations. Dr Subedi will host a week-long series of events in March, including “an exhibition of paintings and photographs; music, literary and food festivals; a Nepal-Britain trade fair and something in honour of Gurkha veterans.” He exclaims: “There will be more than 25,000 Nepalese people taking part!”

With over three decades of experience in Nepal’s Foreign Service, Dr Subedi says “I will try to work diligently and do everything I can to make sure Nepal is visible, noticed, remembered and respected in the UK.”

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