Nepal is 1 of the world's poorest countries with an employee's average yearly earnings of just US$200. Though little of its land can be planted, 90% of the working population is employed in agriculture and forestry. Live animals and food stuffs provide approximately 30% of Nepal's export imcome. The main crops are maize, rice, wheat, barley, sugarcane, potatoes and fruit. The manufacturing sector is small and focuses mainly on industries such as textiles, construction materials, food processing, and carpet making (the latter being a major export earner for Nepal).
Nepal has abundant hydroelectric potential, which would save the country from having to import much of its energy requirements, but this area is as yet underdeveloped. There is some mining of mica and small quantities of copper, lignite, coal and iron ore.
There has been a decline of tourism, the principal service industry since the late 1990s. In 2002, the effects of the Maoist insurgency and bad weather caused the economy to contract by 0.5%. The economy of Nepal is extremely susceptible as it depends on large amounts of foreign aid, particularly food aid (International donors account for about 30% of the government's budget.) and runs a huge external debt.
India was the major trading partner, but after the 1989/90 dispute which caused the closure of the border between the 2 countries, Nepal has pursued trade links elsewhere. Agreements have been signed with several other governments of which China is the foremost country. Nepal is a member of the Asian Development Bank and the Colombo Plan, which intend to promote regional economic co-operation.
Tropical light weight suits or shirt and tie are advised. The ideal time to visit Nepal is during October and May.
Government office hours
Kathmandu Valley: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm in winter and 9.00 am to 4.00 pm in summer.
Other areas: Sunday to Friday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm in winter and 10.00 am to 4.00 pm in summer.
Private office hours : Sunday to Friday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.
The following organizations can offer information and advice:
Nepal Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 198, Kantipath, Kathmandu
(telephone:(1) 222 890; fax: (1) 229 998; email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, PO Box 269, Pachali
Shahid Shukra, Milan Marg, Teku, Kathmandu (telephone: (1) 262 218
or 262 061; fax: (1) 261 022; email: email@example.com)
Chamber of Commerce & Industry, British Embassy Premises,
PO Box 106, Lainchaur, Kathmandu (telephone: (1) 410 738 or 410
583; fax: (1) 418 137; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The following can organize these events:
Nepal Incentive and Convention Association, PO Box 11034,
Kathmandu (telephone: (1) 494 411; fax: (1) 473 696; email: email@example.com).