Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 4/17/2016
  • Nepal is a low-income, developing nation. GDP estimate (FY 2013/14):  $19.57 billion; GDP estimated growth rate (FY 2013/14): 5.5 percent; population:  27.58 million (male 13.38 million, and female 14.20 million); per capita annual income: $703. More than 75 percent of the population is under the age of 40.

  • Political instability, a landlocked location, challenging topography, poor infrastructure, a weak human capital base, and a long history of public intervention in the economy are some of the impediments to economic growth.

  • Agriculture accounts for 32.6 percent of GDP and 73.9 percent of employment .  However, there has been significant migration from rural to urban areas and overseas.  An estimated 22 percent of males and 1 percent of females work abroad, primarily in the Gulf countries and around Asia. Nepal received at least USD 5.5 billion in remittances in FY 2013/14, equivalent to 28.34 percent of GDP. The percent of remittances to GDP is most likely higher as remittances are sent via alternative unofficial/informal channels such as hawala. Nepalis working in India also contribute significantly to remittances, but the exact amount is unknown due to open immigration between the two countries.

  • India accounts for 66 percent of Nepal’s total trade.

  • In FY 2013/14, Nepal exported USD 939.2 million worth of goods, mainly woolen carpet, zinc sheet, textiles, polyester yarn, readymade garments, juice, pulses, and agricultural products. Nepal’s annual imports are about USD 7.25 billion, mainly from India, China, and UAE.  The main imports are petroleum products, vehicles and spare parts, machinery and parts, gold, medicine, electrical goods, and telecommunications equipment.

  • U.S.-Nepal bilateral trade is estimated at USD 120.3 million in 2014, according to United States International Trade Commission (USITC) figures . U.S. exports to Nepal were about USD 33.7 million.  Total U.S. investment in Nepal is USD 89.90 million through April 2015, according to Nepali government statistics.

  • In FY 2013/14, the United States was the second-largest Nepali export market, accounting for 8.3 percent of total exports. U.S. exports made up only 1 percent of Nepal’s total imports.

  • Nepal traditionally runs large trade and current account deficits, which are offset by service, transfer, and capital account surpluses. As of March 2015, the gross convertible foreign exchange reserve of the banking sector stood at USD 7.03 billion, enough to finance merchandise imports fo r 11.3 months.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Nepal Trade Development and Promotion