Nepal is a landlocked country on the southern slope of the Himalayas, located between China in the north and India in east, south and west- two huge countries with vibrant economies. Politically, it has been designated as a Federal Democratic Republic since May 2008. Nepal has been in transition since the decade-long conflict that ended in 2006, focusing its efforts in achieving sustainable peace, economic growth, employment generation, inclusive development, poverty alleviation, food security, and a reliable electricity supply
NEPAL AT GLANCE
Location: 26º22' North to 30º27' North and 80º4' East to 88º12' East Time Zone: GMT + 5.45
Area: 147,181 Square Km.
Currency: Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
Official language: Nepali (English is widely used in business and profession)
Population: 26.49 million (Tarai: 50.3%, Hilly: 43.0%, Mountain: 6.7%) Growth Rate: 1.35%
Population Density: 180 per Sq.km
Urban Population: 17%
Rural Population: 83%
Household Size: 4.88
Sex ratio: 94.2 (male per hundred female)
World Heritage Sites: Lumbini, Chitwan National Park, Sagarmatha National Park, Pashupatinath, Swayambhunath, Bauddhanath, Changu Narayan, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square.
Source: Population Census, 2011, www.cbs.gov.np, www.tourism.gov.np
Nepal is officially a secular state. Hinduism is the main religious faith among the majority of the Nepalese people, with Buddhism the second largest faith by number of followers (Nepal is the birthplace of Lord Buddha). Other religious faiths such as Christianity and Islam co-exist peacefully and harmoniously in Nepal. A rich cultural heritage and diverse cultural traditions are special features of Nepal. Nepal is a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual society. More than 100 ethnicities are represented in Nepal, and approximately 70 languages are spoken.
Nepal is located between two of the world’s most populous countries, India and China, with easy access to both vibrant markets. It has significantly lower tariffs on imports as compared with India, which can make Nepal an attractive location even to Indian investors. Other advantages in Nepal are affordable labor, high profitability, low land cost, and an accessible bureaucracy. Nepal is also entitled to preferential treatment in a number of developed-country markets. The natural as well as cultural assets of Nepal also offer a substantial opportunity to investors. The country has a range of climatic conditions– from tropical to sub-arctic. The topography is generally mountainous in the north, hilly in the middle, and near sea level in the south. Nepal grows various agriculture products, medicinal herbs, and high-quality tea. There is also a huge potential for hydropower- approximately 43,000 MW is technologically feasible.
MARKET SIZE AND ACCESS
Nepal is small in size and population, and its domestic market is limited. However, its special relationship with neighboring countries offers significant access to the largest markets in the region. Nepal also has easy access to the world market. SAFTA and SAARC have been introduced as platforms for the Nepalese market. In addition, Nepal joined the WTO on April 23, 2004 to get benefit from global rule based multilateral trading arrangement.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
Nepal’s weather is generally predictable and pleasant. There are four climatic seasons:
- MONTH SEASON
- March to May: Spring
- June to August: Summer
- September to November: Autumn
- December to February: Winter
- Nepal has a monsoonal climate, with an average annual rainfall of between 1,000 and 2,500 mm, 80-90% of which falls during the summer monsoon from June to September.
- The average maximum temperatures during summer generally range from over 40oC in the lowlands to 20oC in the midland hills and 16oC at 4,000 m in the highlands.
- In winter, much colder temperatures prevail at higher elevations.
- The Kathmandu Valley, at an altitude of 1310 m, has a mild climate ranging on an average from 19-27oC in summer to 2-20oC in winter.
Road, electricity, irrigation, water supply and sanitation, housing and urban development, environment, alternative energy, and information technology are included in the infrastructure sector. It is necessary to develop safe, sustainable, economical, user-friendly, and environment- and climate-friendly infrastructure for the prosperity of Nepal..
There are two methods to enter Nepal: air or land transport.
Transportation is a prerequisite for development as it reduces regional disparity and fosters economic development and development of other sectors as well as delivery of services. The total length of motorable road is 25,599 km, of which 10,810 km is black topped, 5,925 km is graveled, and 8,864 km is earthen. (Source: Economic Survey: 2013-2014)
Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is the only international airport in Nepal. It has direct air links with many countries, and a number of airlines have flights from various origins throughout the world to Nepal, each with either one or two stops and connecting flights.
Nepal Airlines, Qatar Airways, Thai, Etihad, Emirates, Lufthansa, Air India, and Singapore Airlines are the airlines that carry most of the foreign travelers into Kathmandu. PIA, Korean Air, Dragon Air, Air China, Air Arabia, Kingfisher, and Fly Dubai also conduct flights to Nepal.
There are many local airlines that connect Kathmandu to different locations of the country. Biratnagar, Birgunj, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, and Bhadrapur are the main cities of Nepal where local air connectivity is easily available. STOL (short takeoff and landing) services are also available to connect the capital city of Nepal from hill and mountainous areas..
Of the total cultivable land (2.641 million ha) of Nepal, only 1.766 million ha of land is considered to have potential for irrigation. Of this, irrigation facilities have reached 1.259 million ha (71.34%) land. Even in the areas with irrigation facilities, the facilities are often not available throughout the year.(Source: Economic Survey: 2013-2014)
Though there is an enormous potential for hydropower in the nation, only 746 MW of hydroelectricity has been produced so far. At present, only 67.26% of the population has access to electricity through hydropower, heat electricity, and alternative energy.(Source: Economic Survey: 2013-2014)
STRUCTURE OF GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT
Over the past several years there have been gradual changes in Nepal's economic structure, with a declining trend in the contribution of agriculture and industrial sectors and an increasing trend in the contribution of the service sector.
The sector that comprises agriculture, forestry, fishery, and mining and excavation stood at 37% in 2000-2001, and is estimated at 36.2 percent for 2010-2011.
The sector of GDP that comprises industries, electricity, gas, water supply, and construction (the industry group) is estimated to be 14.1% in 2010-2011, a reduction of 2.8 percentage points as compared to the figure of the fiscal year 2000-2001. The major reason for this is the decline of 6.1% in the contribution from the manufacturing sub-sector in 2010-2011, resulting in the reduction of 3.0 percentage points in this sector during this period.
The sector that comprises trade, transport, communication and warehousing, financial intermediation, real estate business, public administration and defense, education, health, and other community, social and personal services and other sectors remained at 49.8%, with the increment of 3.6 percentage points in GDP. However, the contribution in the current fiscal year is expected to be marginally lower than that of last four years. The contribution of the service sector to the GDP has been increasing due to the growth in the transport, public administration, education and other community service sectors among these sub-sectors