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 2020, foreign trade represented 41% of GDP (World Bank, 2022), in relative decline. The average applied tariff rate is 14.2% 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 (22.6% of all exports in 2020), nutmeg, mace and cardamon (5.5%) palm oil (5.1%) and tea (3.8%). According to OEC latest data (2022), India is by far the main trading partner with 70% of all exports in 2020 (followed by the USA with 10.3%) and 71.4% of all imports the same year (followed by China with 14.2%).

The Nepalese trade balance is structurally in deficit (USD -12.2 billion in 2019, the widest since 2014). In 2020, exports reached USD 2.49 billion USD while imports reached 9.91 billion USD, resulting in a deficit of 7.42 billion USD (WTO and World Bank, 2022).

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 9,65010,34512,71212,3409,856
Exports of Goods (million USD) 740742786968856
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,2501,5911,7741,6871,074
Exports of Services (million USD) 1,2821,3831,4771,512830
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 328196-15
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -17986-16
Trade Balance (million USD) -8,002-9,365-11,916-11,021-8,700
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 4245484941
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 3437414134
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 88887

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

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To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export controls

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows


Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs duties


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
International Economic Cooperation
Member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
Useful Resources
Customs Department
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Department of Industry.

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Latest Update: June 2022

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