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Nepal: Economy

Economy Nepal
Economy - overview:
Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with 42% of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for over 80% of the population and accounting for 40% of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Textile and carpet production, accounting for about 80% of foreign exchange earnings in recent years, contracted in 2001-02 due to the overall slowdown in the world economy and pressures by Maoist insurgents on factory owners and workers. Security concerns in the wake of the Maoist conflict and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US have led to a decrease in tourism, another key source of foreign exchange. Since 1991, the government has been moving forward with economic reforms, e.g., by reducing business licenses and registration requirements to simplify investment procedures, reducing subsidies, privatizing state industries, and laying off civil servants. Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower and tourism, areas of recent foreign investment interest. Prospects for foreign trade or investment in other sectors will remain poor, however, because of the small size of the economy, its technological backwardness, its remoteness, its landlocked geographic location, and its susceptibility to natural disaster. The international community's role of funding more than 60% of Nepal's development budget and more than 28% of total budgetary expenditures will likely continue as a major ingredient of growth.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $37.32 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-0.6% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 20%
services: 40% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
42% (1995-96)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 29.8% (1995-96)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36.7 (FY 95/96)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.8% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
10 million
note: severe lack of skilled labor (1996 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 81%, services 16%, industry 3%
Unemployment rate:
47% (2001 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $665 million
expenditures: $1.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY 99/00 est.)
Industries:
tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production
Industrial production growth rate:
8.7% (FY 99/00)
Electricity - production:
1.755 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 8.5%
hydro: 91.5%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
1.764 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
95 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
227 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
16,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Exports:
$720 million f.o.b., but does not include unrecorded border trade with India (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
Exports - partners:
India 47.5%, US 27.6%, Germany 7.5% (2002)
Imports:
$1.6 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer
Imports - partners:
India 21.2%, China 13%, UAE 11.1%, Singapore 8.5%, Hong Kong 5.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.9%, Kuwait 4.1% (2002)
Debt - external:
$2.55 billion (FY 00/01)
Economic aid - recipient:
$424 million (FY 00/01)
Currency:
Nepalese rupee (NPR)
Currency code:
NPR
Exchange rates:
Nepalese rupees per US dollar - 77.88 (2002), 74.95 (2001), 71.09 (2000), 68.24 (1999), 65.98 (1998)
Fiscal year:
16 July - 15 July

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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