Trade in Nepal

Nepal has been pursuing open and market oriented trade policy. The country is member of WTO, SAFTA, BIMSTEC and MIGA. The Trade Policy 2015 aims to  create  a conducive environment for promotion of trade in order to make it competitive at international level. The Government of Nepal has incorporated trade agenda as a main strategy in its development plan. The country is making every efforts to increase exports and minimize trade deficit.  Currently the Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) 2016 is in implementation in order to increase trade competitiveness.
Foreign Trade Composition of Nepal (2015/16) in ‘000 NRs

Export Import

India     39,695,134 ( 55.81%)    48,759,307 (62.4%)

China    2,156,758 (3.03%)         117,209,982 (15.04%)

others   29,285,771 (41.16%)    176,338,672 (22.56%)

Total     71,137,663 (100%)         781145961 (100%)

1 RMB = NRs15.8

Major Exports

Iron and Steel Products, Woolen Carpets, Yarns , Textiles, Readymade Garments/ Shawls, Juices, herbs, tea, cardamom, Hides and skin, Footwear, Handicrafts

Major Imports

Petroleum Products, Iron and Steels, Machinery and parts, Electronics and electrical equipments, Pharmaceuticals, Fertilizers

Priority Export potential Sectors

(as identified by NTIS, 2016)

1.Agrobased products




Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

2.Craft and manufacturing products

All fabrics, textile, yarn and rope






Skilled and semi skilled professionals at various categories (Remittance generating services)

IT and BPO and IT Engineering

Tourism (including leisure, business, education and medical)

Other export potential products and services

1.Hydro electricity

2.All fabricated steel and metals


4.Fruit and vegetable juices


6.Instant noodles


8.Paper products

9.Ready made garments

10.Semi precious stones

11.Silver Jewellery

12.Wool products

Nepal –China Trade Relations

Nepal and China have been doing  trade  since ancient times. The border points that are open between the two countries are Kodari-Nyalam, Rasuwa-Keyrong, Yari(Humla)-Purang, Olangchunggola-Riwu, Kimathanka Riwu, and Nechung(Mustang)- Lizi. However, border trade takes place through fourty old different passes.  The border inhabitants of the two countries  may, within area of 30 Kilometers from the border, carry on the traditional trade on barter basis. Kodari-Nyalam and Rasuwa-Kerong are the two points open for international trade. Currently, the Kodari-Nyalam border is closed after the devastating earthquake of 2015. At present, China is second largest trading partner. Though volume of bilateral trade is small, trade deficit against Nepal is widening. Nepal has duty free access for 7787 items with China. Government of Nepal is encouraging businessmen to increase exports to China. Along with bilateral trade agreements, there is also an intergovernmental trade and economic committee at Vice Ministers’ level for enhancing trade and economic activities between the two countries. There is also a separate trade facilitation mechanism between Nepal and TAR of China. Nepal and TAR of China also hold Nepal-China’s Tibet Economic and Trade Fair every two  years  in Kathmandu and Lhasa alternatively. The 15th such fair was held in  Kathmandu on 17-21 November, 2015.

Download available  (Trade Policy, Nepal Trade Integration Strategy)

Relevant links

Ministry of Commerce (

Trade and Export Promotion Centre (

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry –FNCCI (

Nepal-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry –NCCI (