Trade Profile

flag Nepal Nepal: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

Although trade policies were modified significantly after the change of government, the country seems keen to open its economy further to foreign trade and develop its exports. In 2021, foreign trade represented 44% of GDP (World Bank, 2023). The average applied tariff rate is 11.6% (Trading Economics, 2023) and companies that export more than 90% of their goods are exempt from customs duties, excise duties, and sales taxes. The country is a member of WTO. However, significant barriers to the development of trade persist, including lack of skilled labour, advanced technology, and geographic accessibility.

Nepal’s exports are led by soybean oil (35.8% of all exports in 2021), palm oil (15.5%) and yarn of synthetics staple fibres (4.4%). According to the latest Comtrade data, India is by far the main trading partner with 80.1% of all exports in 2021 (followed by the USA with 8%) and 60.5% of all imports the same year (followed by China with 15.1%).

The Nepalese trade balance is structurally in deficit (USD -13.7 billion in 2021, the widest since 2014). In 2021, exports reached USD 2.45 billion USD while imports reached 17.43 billion USD, resulting in a deficit of 14.98 billion USD (WTO and World Bank, 2023).

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 12,71212,3409,85615,89313,735
Exports of Goods (million USD) 7869688561,6841,296
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,7751,7181,0971,5651,979
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,7451,6158817981,225
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 196-211915
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 86-16-2134
Trade Balance (million USD) -11,931-11,007-8,707-13,707-11,929
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 4849414349
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 4141343843
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 88757

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2022
India 71.9%
United States 11.3%
Germany 2.5%
Türkiye 2.0%
United Kingdom 1.8%
See More Countries 10.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2022
India 63.2%
China 13.5%
Indonesia 2.6%
United Arab Emirates 2.3%
United States 2.1%
See More Countries 16.2%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

1.3 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not...Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 14.4%
Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined...Palm oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 14.3%
Yarn of synthetic staple fibres (excl. sewing...Yarn of synthetic staple fibres (excl. sewing thread and yarn put up for retail sale) 6.9%
Carpets and other textile floor coverings, of...Carpets and other textile floor coverings, of textile materials, knotted, whether or not made up 6.5%
Fruit juices, incl. grape must, and vegetable...Fruit juices, incl. grape must, and vegetable juices, unfermented, not containing added spirit, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter 3.7%
See More Products 54.1%
13.7 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 16.6%
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbonsPetroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 3.8%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought...Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 2.9%
Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not...Soya-bean oil and its fractions, whether or not refined (excl. chemically modified) 2.5%
Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular...Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, incl. apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network]; parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528) 2.4%
See More Products 71.8%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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Commercial Policy

International Economic Cooperation
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country's commercial policy
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
14.89%
 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
Useful Resources
Customs Department
 
 
 

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Latest Update: November 2023