After the restoration of democracy in 1990, Government of Nepal adopted policies of open market economy with necessary legal and administrative measures and gave high priority to integration of Nepalese economy into regional and global economies. In this context, the Government emphasized economic diplomacy in order to mainstream objectives of socio-economic development into foreign policy objectives. Multilateral Economic Affairs Division (MEAD) was formed within Ministry of Foreign Affairs to undertake the following functions:
- Formulation, implementation and monitoring of programs relating to economic diplomacy.
- Promotion of Nepal’s interest in economic affairs of multilateral international institutions.
- Promotion of national interests in WTO as well as the issues of LDCs & LLDCs.
- Formulation of programs in consultation with different agencies of Government of Nepal & private sectors.
- Coordinate on, and communicate with, Nepalese missions abroad
The High Level Economic Diplomacy Implementation and Monitoring Committee under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister, which can give direction to other mechanisms responsible for economic diplomacy, is the highest monitoring mechanism. Focal Points consisting of senior officials of the sectoral ministries more often meet to prepare for the meeting of the high level committee. MEAD acts as the secretariat of these mechanisms. As the private sectors are included in the mechanisms, their role in economic diplomacy is also crucial.
The following areas have been identified in economic diplomacy:
- Development Cooperation
- Foreign Direct Investment
- Promotion of Tourism
- Promotion of Export Trade
- Promotion of Foreign Employment
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/www.mofa.gov.np