Business Profile

Economy : Nepal is one of the world’s least developed countries, with one of the lowest per capita GDP (around US$200 per annum). Although little of the land can be cultivated, 90 per cent of the working population finds employment in agriculture and forestry. Foodstuffs and live animals provide about 30 per cent of Nepal’s export earnings. The principal crops are maize, rice, barley, wheat, sugar cane, potatoes and fruit. The manufacturing sector is very small and concentrated in light industries such as construction materials, food processing, textiles and carpet-making (the latter being an important export earner).

The country has a considerable hydroelectric potential which would save Nepal from having to import much of its energy requirements, but the sector is as yet underdeveloped. There is some mining of mica and small quantities of lignite, copper, coal and iron ore. The main service industry, tourism, has gone into decline since the late 1990s. In 2001, Nepal recorded growth of just two per cent, the lowest figure for over a decade. The country runs a large trade deficit and relies on substantial amounts of foreign aid, especially food aid. (International donors provide about 30 per cent of the Government’s budget.) India is the main trading partner, although following the 1989/90 dispute which led to the closure of the border between the two countries, Nepal has actively pursued trade links elsewhere. Agreements have also been signed with several other governments, of which that with China is the most important. Nepal is a member of the Asian Development Bank and the Colombo Plan, both of which aim to promote regional economic co-operation. In addition to its remote, inaccessible location and poor infrastructure, political instability within Nepal’s ruling circles and the ongoing Maoist insurgency also serve to deter potential investors.

Business : Tropical-weight suits or shirt and tie are recommended. Best time to visit is October to May. Government office hours: Kathmandu Valley: Mon-Fri 0900-1700 (winter), 0900-1600 (summer). Other areas: Sun-Fri 1000-1700 (winter), 1000-1600 (summer).
Private office hours :
Sun-Fri 0930-1700.

Commercial Information :
The following organisations can offer advice: Nepal Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 198, Kantipath, Kathmandu (tel: (1) 222 890; fax: (1) 229 998; e-mail:; or Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, PO Box 269, Pachali Shahid Shukra, Milan Marg, Teku, Kathmandu (tel: (1) 262 218 or 262 061; fax: (1) 261 022; e-mail:; website:; or Nepal-Britain Chamber of Commerce & Industry, British Embassy Premises, Lainchaur, Kathmandu (tel: (1) 418 137 or 410 583; fax: (1) 418 137; e-mail:; website :

Conferences/Conventions :
The following organisation can organise these events: Nepal Incentive and Convention Association, PO Box 11034, Kathmandu (tel: (1) 494 411; fax: (1) 473 696; e-mail:; website :

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Information provided by Nepal Tourism Board.


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