Officially named the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, Nepal is a land-locked country surrounded to its east, south and west by India and to its north by the People’s Republic of China.
In 2017, Nepal shipped US$740.7 million worth of products to 121 trade partners around the globe.
Nepal has a population of about 29.4 million residents living in a region that boasts eight of the world’s ten highest mountains.
Nepal’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list of Nepal’s top 15 trade partners that bought the most Nepalese shipments by dollar value during 2017. Also shown is each importing country’s percentage share of total exported goods from Nepal.
- India: US$420.2 million (56.7% of total Nepalese exports)
- United States: $82.6 million (11.2%)
- Turkey: $47.5 million (6.4%)
- Germany: $29.1 million (3.9%)
- United Kingdom: $25.4 million (3.4%)
- China: $22.3 million (3%)
- Italy: $12.1 million (1.6%)
- France: $11.1 million (1.5%)
- Bangladesh: $9.8 million (1.3%)
- Japan: $9.7 million (1.3%)
- Canada: $8.3 million (1.1%)
- United Arab Emirates: $8.1 million (1.1%)
- Australia: $6.5 million (0.9%)
- Vietnam: $5.2 million (0.7%)
- Netherlands: $4 million (0.5%)
The bulk of Nepali shipments by value (94.7%) were delivered to its top 15 trading partners.
The fastest-growing importers for Nepal’s products from 2016 to 2017 were: United Arab Emirates (up 826.8%), Turkey (up 72.8%), Vietnam (up 34.1%) and China (up 23.3%).
Bangladesh proved to be a much weaker growth customer for Nepalese exports, with the value of Bangladeshi imports from Nepal falling by -24.3%.
The value of Nepalese exports also depreciated to Japan by -13.9% and to the United States by -6.6% year over year.
Nepal incurred an overall -$9.3 billion trade deficit for 2017, up by 14.1% from -$8.1 billion one year earlier.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2017, Nepal incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- India: -US$6.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2017)
- China: -$1.2 billion
- United Arab Emirates: -$167 million
- France: -$144.3 million
- Argentina: -$133.7 million
- Indonesia: -$121.3 million
- Thailand: -$107.5 million
- South Korea: -$91.4 million
- Saudi Arabia: -$88.8 million
- Vietnam: -$85.8 million
Among Nepal’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Nepalese deficits with France (up 163.2%), Argentina (up 58.6%) and South Korea (up 57.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Nepal’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Nepal to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2017, Nepal incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- Turkey: US$15 million (country-specific trade surplus in 2017)
- United States: $710,000
- United Kingdom: $698,000
- Syria: $634,000
- Norway: $497,000
- Kuwait: $372,000
- Yemen: $315,000
- Iceland: $176,000
- New Caledonia: $120,000
- Slovenia: $103,000
Among Nepal’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Nepalese surpluses with Iceland (up 155.1%), New Caledonia (up 50%) and Norway (up 47%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Nepal’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Nepal to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Nepalese Export Companies
Not one Nepalese corporation ranks among the Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Nepal. Selected examples are shown below:
- Chaudhary Group (conglomerate)
- Citizens Bank International (commercial bank)
- Deurali-Janta Pharmaceuticals (drugs and medicines)
- Giribandhu Tea Estate (beverages)
- Hulas Motors (vehicles)
- IME Group (conglomerate)
- Krishna Pauroti (bakery)
- Nepal Oil Corporation (oil, gas)
See also Nepal’s Top 10 Exports, Nepal’s Top 10 Imports, Top Asian Export Countries and India’s Top 10 Exports
Forbes 2016 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 18, 2018
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 18, 2018
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 18, 2018
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 18, 2018
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 18, 2018
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Nepal. Accessed on August 18, 2018
Wikipedia, Nepal. Accessed on August 18, 2018