KATHMANDU, Sept 28: South Korea has said it would always be a partner to Nepal preparing to graduate from the least developed country status in 2026.
During an event organized on the occasion of the National Day of South Korea in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Korean Ambassador to Nepal, Tea-Young Park, shared that Korean government has designated Nepal as a priority cooperation country for 15 consecutive years in development cooperation focusing on vocational training, health, agriculture, and ICT.
“Over the past 30 years, KOICA has implemented 157 development projects and provided degrees or training opportunities to Korea to around 2,000 Nepali people.”
Korea is the fourth largest foreign investor for Nepal. Samsung Electronics has been operating a state-of-the-art TV factory since last April.
He further viewed a Nepali company, in partnership with Hyundai Motors, is preparing to start Nepal’s first automobile production in Nawalparasi in the first half of next year. A Korean wig company, Mandumo, invested here and hired 680 Nepali women, Park added.
According to him, a bilateral investment treaty with Nepal is necessary to attract more investments by Korean companies. Korea is working on it, he shared.
He shared that South Korea is in the process of constructing its third hydropower plant in Nepal. The Korean government and companies completed the Modi Khola Hydropower Plant in 2000 and the Chameliya I in 2018. The 216-megawatt Upper Trishuli-1 hydropower plant is under construction for its operation in 2027. Korea will continue to cooperate in realizing Nepal’s hydropower development potential.
In his address, Park further stated that Nepal has secured the top position among Korea’s 16 EPS partner nations for the first time this year. Throughout this year, opportunities to work in Korea have been provided to 20,000 individuals.
Since 2007, over 100,000 Nepali migrant workers have worked in Korea on equal terms with Koreans.
Moreover, he viewed Nepal and Korea share many historical and cultural similarities. As many as 30,000 Koreans visit Nepal every year for trekking in the Himalayas, and pilgrimage to Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. Many young Nepali people are learning taekwondo and enjoying K-Pop.
Korea and Nepal are approaching the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year.
Various dignitaries, including Vice President Ramsahaya Prasad Yadav, attend the program.