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 effort 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 of 2020/21 (in ‘000 NRs):

 S.N.      Country              Export                         Import

1.             India               917,603,945                 106,372,055

2.             China                1,016,057                   233,923,060

Total                           141,124,080              1,539,837,068

                                                1 RMB= NRs 20.00

Major Exports

Brooms and brushes, Paintings, drawings, sculptures and statuary, Sanitary towel (pad), 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/Products (As identified by NTIS, 2016) :

1. Agrobased products

  • Cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Tea
  • Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

2. Craft and manufacturing products

  • All fabrics, textile, yarn and rope
  • Leather
  • Footwear
  • Pashmina
  • Carpets

3. Services

  • 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. Bottled Mineral Water (Himalya Water)
  3. All fabricated steel and metals
  4. Coffee
  5. Fruit and vegetable juices
  6. Honey
  7. Instant noodles
  8. Lentils
  9. paper products
  10. Ready made garments
  11. Semi precious stones
  12. Silver Jewellery
  13. 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 international trade via land route. Currently, the land routes have permitted quota of vehicles from China to Nepal owing to the outbreak of the covid pandemic. 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 in 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.

Useful links for more information on trade:

Nepal trade portal (

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 (

If you require any information on trade (and particularly investing in Nepal), kindly contact the Embassy.