The German-Nepal government negotiations which were held on 1 and 2 December 2014 in Kathmandu focused on the three core areas of both countries´ bilateral development cooperation.Those areas include sustainable Economic Development and Trade, Health and Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy.
With the first governmental negotiations in six years, the German government recognizes the great success of the peaceful elections in November 2013 and the democratic legitimacy of the government which emerged out of these elections.
In the course of the friendly and constructively held negotiations, the delegations of both countries agreed on new commitments for the years 2014 and 2015 which amount to a total of € 48 million for measures of Technical and Financial Cooperation, an increase by EUR 6 million from the previous commitment. The lion’s share of the committed funds will be allocated to the sectors Health (€ 25.5 million) and Sustainable Economic Development and Trade (€ 15 million). Altogether, the German financial support to Nepal amounts to approx. € 1.147 billion since 1961.
Both sides confirmed the approach of concentrating the bilateral cooperation portfolio in the three above mentioned core areas, which were already agreed upon in the government consultations in 2012. Sustainable development and poverty alleviation remain the central aims of the cooperation. Nepal has registered significant improvements in some areas in terms of achieving Millennium Development Goals, while poverty alleviation and tackling inequalities remain the areas of further work. Therefore, the geographical focus of the cooperation is on the rural regions in Nepal’s Mid and Far West.
Cooperation in the field of economic development and trade aims at creating sustainable income opportunities and jobs, in particular for disadvantaged groups.
This aim is already reflected in the implementation of the programs “INCLUDE” as well as the “Trade Promotion Program”.
In the priority area of health, German Development Cooperation supports the implementation of the National Health Sector Development Plan. The German commitment focuses on improving the availability, usage and quality of health services, particularly those concerned with maternal and children’s health, as well as on supporting the Nepalese Government in its efforts to establish a universal health insurance system in Nepal.
Bilateral cooperation in the energy sector concentrates on the promotion of decentralized, renewable energy supply systems/energy supply solutions as well as energy-efficient transmission grids. Both sides consider the improvement of the current state of energy distribution as one of the most pressing concerns for Nepal’s economic development.
According to a press release issued by German Embassy, on Behalf of the Government of Germany, Ambassador Matthias Meyer stressed hope that the Constituent Assembly will deliver Nepal’s new constitution (as scheduled) by January 2015. He furthermore emphasized the importance of holding local elections at the earliest possible.
Prior to the negotiations, the German delegation visited a number of bilateral cooperation projects, e.g. the Middle Masyangdi Hydropower Plant near Besishar, a Solar Pumping Project in Katiya as well as several joint programmes in health and local governance.