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    Nepal Economy - 2003

      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 - $36 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 (FY95)

      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 (FY99 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)

      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 48%, US 26%, Germany 11%, Japan 2%, UK 2% (FY00)

      Imports: $1.6 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)

      Imports - commodities: gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer

      Imports - partners: India 41%, Singapore 11%, China 10%, UK 8%, Hong Kong 5%, Saudi Arabia 4%, Thailand 2% (FY00)

      Debt - external: $2.55 billion (FY00)

      Economic aid - recipient: $424 million (FY00)

      Currency: Nepalese rupee (NPR)

      Currency code: NPR

      Exchange rates: Nepalese rupees per US dollar - 77.8766 (2002), 74.9492 (2001), 71.0938 (2000), 68.2394 (1999), 65.9758 (1998)

      Fiscal year: 16 July - 15 July

      NOTE: The information regarding Nepal on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nepal Economy 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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