A parliamentarian delegation from Bundestag, the German House of Representatives, paid a five-day official visit to Nepal from 1st to 5th March 2019.
According to a press release issued by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kathmandu, this visit further strengthened parliamentary relations between Nepal and Germany, contributing to the long-standing bilateral friendship and cooperation that has lasted already for 60 years till date.
“We discussed with the international affairs committee of the Nepali Government to work towards further cooperation and to organize regular exchanges. We would like to extend to them an invitation to visit Germany”, said Tobias Pflüger, Head of the Delegation.
The members of the Delegation met President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada.
They discussed a wide range of topics, including the current federal and economic transformation of Nepal, Nepal’s peace process and human rights, women empowerment and the necessity to increase access to high quality education for all as well as German-Nepali development cooperation and the upcoming investment summit.
During a two-day visit to Province 5 (Bhairahawa, Butwal, Lumbini) the delegation visited Lumbini Peace Park in Kapilvastu, the Raj Brewery producing Warsteiner Beer since 2017 and the future Gautam Buddha International Airport. With Shankar Pokharel, Chief Minister of Province 5 and representatives from the private sector as well as German development cooperation, they discussed the enormous potential for regional economic development.
Lumbini’s potential as a tourism hot spot for South-Asia and beyond was touched upon. A visit to the Vocational Training Academy of the Rabindra-Puri-Foundation in Panauti and the rich cultural heritage of Bhaktapur focused on heritage conservation and earthquake reconstruction. The delegation discussed possible support to the Prime Minister’s efforts to promote Technical and Vocational Training.
“In Germany, private companies hire apprentices in order to train 50% on the job and 50% in colleges”, explained Bettina Stark-Watzinger. Besides the official meetings, the parliamentarian delegation shared experiences with representatives of the Nepali civil society.
“The German people regard strong civil society organisations as an important element of democracy, as they voice challenges in the fields of human rights and labour conditions” said Tobias Pflüger.
Gabriele Katzmarek stressed furthermore that “private investment and economic development go hand in hand with human rights”.
The following members were part of the delegationTobias Pflüger, Head of Delegation, Spokesperson for defence policy for DIE- LINKE (left party); member of the Defence-Committee; Deputy member of the Committee for Foreign Affairs and the Committee for Affairs of the European Union; Chairman of the South-Asian-Parliamentary Group Ms. Gabriele Katzmarek: Member of Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands- (SPD, Social Democratic Party of Germany) Member of Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, Enquete-Commission “Vocational education in the digital world”; Deputy chairwoman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the States of South Asia; Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the ASEAN States Ms. Bettina Stark-Watzinger: Member of the Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP,-Free Democratic Party)