Ottawa: Nepal has requested Canada to invest in the hydropower sector in Nepal.
During the third meeting of the Nepal-Canada Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) held in Ottawa on Thursday, Bharat Raj Paudyal, Foreign Secretary of Nepal, and Paul Thoppil, Assistant Deputy Minister of Global Affairs Canada, led their respective delegations.
Citing the contribution made by the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II (CFPS II) in the financing of Upper Trishuli-1 Hydropower project, Foreign Secretary Paudyal called for more investment and technology from Canada in Nepal’s hydropower, a vital source of clean energy.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed a range of matters of bilateral interest that included development cooperation, trade and investment, education, culture and tourism as well as environment and climate change.
Foreign Secretary Paudyal shared with the Canadian side about Nepal’s development priorities, graduation from the LDC category and efforts being made towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He underscored the need of enhanced level of cooperation from Canada in terms of resources and technology for Nepal’s smooth and sustainable transition from the LDC status.
The Canadian side expressed its readiness to support Nepal in its development pursuits and highlighted its feminist international assistance policy. Canada launched its Feminist International Assistance Policy in 2017, positioning Canada as a champion for gender equality in its international assistance programming. The FIAP applies a human rights approach to promoting six interlinked areas for action, including an area on environment and climate action.
Views were exchanged on continuing collaboration in various multilateral forums, including the United Nations, on matters of common interest such as climate change and UN peacekeeping. The two sides shared their perspectives on various matters of global importance.
Foreign Secretary Paudyal highlighted the successful conduct of the recent local elections in Nepal as well as the forthcoming provincial and federal elections as important democratic exercise and steps towards further consolidating democracy in Nepal. He also thanked the Canadian side for their generous support of vaccines and essential medical equipment to Nepal during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two sides reviewed the progress made since the second meeting of the BCM held in December 2020. They agreed to work closely towards further deepening and widening cooperation and engagements in identified sectors for mutual benefit. The importance of the exchange of high level visits was emphasized as a means of providing momentum to these engagements.
In view of growing size of Nepali diaspora in Canada and increasing people to people contacts between the two countries, Foreign Secretary Paudyal requested Canadian side to consider establishing Canadian representation in Nepal and making arrangements for the issuance of visas in Kathmandu.
Other members of the Nepali delegation in the meeting included Ambassador of Nepal to Canada, Bhrigu Dhungana, as well as officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Nepal in Canada. The Canadian delegation consisted of officials of the Global Affairs Canada, including Director General (South Asia) and the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Canada in India, which is concurrently accredited to Nepal. The next meeting of the mechanism will be held in Kathmandu in 2024, said a press statement issued by the Nepali embassy in Ottawa.
Cindy Termorshuizen, Acting Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada, also hosted a luncheon in honour of Foreign Secretary Paudyal and the Nepali delegation.