Strategically located between economic powerhouses China and India, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal shipped US$708.6 million worth of goods around the globe in 2016, down by -20% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in but up by 7.3% from 2015 to 2016. A landlocked central Himalayan country in South Asia, Nepal’s top 10 exports accounted for almost three-quarters (72.3%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Exports represent just 0.9% of total Nepalese economic output. Based on 2015 data, over two-thirds (68.7%) of Nepalese exports by value were delivered to other Asian countries while 12.5% were sold to European importers. Nepal shipped another 11.5% worth of goods to North America.
Readymade garments sector has grown to be the top largest export item in terms of foreign exchange earning and also contributing employment opportunities to large section of communities. The readymade garments ranging from the loom fabrics to mill fabrics are made and exported as per buyers order no matter whether they are traditional or fashions wears. Coats, jackets, jumpers, jump suits, shirts and blouses, skirts and trousers, slacks and shorts, quilted jackets & waistcoats etc. made from cotton or rayon are the main categories exported from Nepal. The major export market of Nepalese garments are USA, Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Australia, etc.
The hand knotted woolen carpets has become the second largest export items of the country. The carpet industry is one of the largest employment generating industries of Nepal. The hand knotted woolen carpet has due recognization in the international market because of its unique qualities like texture, color combination, resiliency property, strength and durability. The carpets made from refined pure wool are available in both vegetable dyes and chemical dyes. Usually the density of Nepalese carpet are made with 60, 80 and 100 knots per sq. inches. However the specialized manufacturers produce even 120 knots per sq. inch density. Germany, USA, Austria, Netherlands, UK. Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Korea, Russia, are the major export markets for Nepalese carpets.
Pashmina products has been emerged as Nepal’s third largest overseas export product after readymade garment & hand knotted woolen carpets. Pashmina is the inner-coat of the hair of mountain goat. It is obtained by combining the natural hair of the goat. The quality of Pashmina is determined by its softness, lightness, fineness, warmness, and long-lasting properties as well as craftsmanship. The main export products made from Pashmina are shawls, stoles, mufflers, scarves, blankets & readymade garments. These products are available of any color as per the consumers choice in respective of synthetic or natural dyes. United States of America is the largest overseas importer of Nepalese Pashmina goods. Other major market of Pashmina goods are Japan, UK, France, Germany, Republic of Korea, Italy, Canada & Switzerland.
Nepal offers buffalo hides and goat skins which are mostly exported in the form of wet blue, chrome tanned, chrome crust and chrome full finished. For the last few decades Nepal has been producing and exporting a wide variety of leather goods both of modern and traditional design. Jackets, handbags, belts, purses, shoe, gloves, wallets are some of the leather products manufactured in Nepal and have good export market. The tanning industries and leather goods industries has great contribution in the export earning of the country. USA, Japan, Pakistan Italy, Nether land, Switzerland, Brazil, UK, Spain, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong are the major export market for Nepalese leather and leather products.
Lentil as a major exportable agricultural products has been regular sources of foreign exchange earnings for Nepal. Nepal exports both whole and split lentils. Lentils are grown in terai, inner terai and mid hills parts of the country. The cultivation of lentil has been increasing because of its promising potentiality at home and abroad. Among other pulses, Nepalese lentils has greater demand in the international market. Bangladesh, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Germany, Korea, UK, Indonesia are its major export markets..
Nepalese handicrafts have been known all over the world for its rich art, crafts and oriental architecture for centuries. Each and every piece of Nepalese handicrafts are unique in itself and reflect the art and skill of the craftsmanship. It is cottage scale and home based industry where traditional techniques and skills has been handed over generation to generation. The Nepalese handicrafts includes gold plated , bronze and brass art icons, filigree articles, household utensils, handmade paper and paper products, paintings and thankas, wood carving and basketry works potteries, jewelleries, masks etc. USA, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Italy, Australia are the major markets for these products.
Variety of spices are traditionally grown in Nepal. Nepal offers numbers of spices such as dry and fresh ginger, large cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon both leaf and barks chillies etc. Spices are famous for flavoring the delicious food. Mostly the spices are used in domestic culinary purposes as well as in the food industry. It is also widely used in medicines bakeries. Spices are the major export product of Nepal. India has been traditional market for Nepalese spices. Nepalese spices are exported to India, Pakistan, Singapore, Germany, Taiwan etc.
Floricultural product has been the emerging export product of Nepal. Nepal’s varied climate nature and soil type offers a wide potentially for cultivation of all type of floricultural plants all over the year. Besides other hundreds of varieties of flowers, 90 genera and 350 species of orchid are available in Nepal. Nepal is exporting cut flower, flower bulbs and seeds. The major export markets are India, Japan, Pakistan, Qatar etc. There is great potentialities for the expansion of export of floriculture products from Nepal.
The medicinal herbs and essential oils are well known export product of Nepal. Medicinal and aromatic plants are the important natural resources of Nepal which are widely in forest and Himalayan ranges. In Nepal these plants are being used in traditional healing purposes for centuries. Ayurvedic drugs are made directly from the medicinal herbs. The essential oils extracted from different medicinal plants are widely used as raw material for producing various consumer products such as cosmetic, perfumery, medicines etc. Various plant based essential oils are produced and exported from Nepal. Citronella oil, Palmerosa oil, Sugandha Kokila, lemon grass oil, lichen extract are some prominent essential oil and extract which are commonly produced. The major export market of these products are Germany, Japan, Pakistan, Italy, France, USA, UAE, UK. Switzerland, Sweden Australia etc.
Tea is a upcoming export items of Nepal. Tea has been cultivated in Nepal dating back to more than a century, Orthodox and CTC are the major varieties of tea grown in Nepal. Ill am tea which is famous as high grown orthodox tea is popular among the tea connoisseur. The major export market of Nepalese tea are Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Hong Kong, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Netherlands, USA. The medicated and herbal tea of Nepal have been very popular in these markets.Along with the tea, coffee is also emerging as a potential export products of Nepal. Coffee is cultivated in some pocket area of middle part of Nepal such as Gulmi, Palpa, Syanja, Lalitpur and Kavre district. Conducive agro climate environment for coffee has encouraged the farmers in cultivation of coffee. It can be cultivated in barren and steep lands. It is high valued commercial crops having a promising market potentialities at home and abroad. There is good demand for Nepalese coffee in overseas market as people prefers roasted coffee beans rather than the instant one. Japan and Neither land are existing export markets for Nepalese coffee.
Silver Jewellery is another prominent export item of Nepal. Jewellery in Nepal are made mostly by hands of skilled craft man reflecting the traditional arts and culture of Nepal. Unique sets and varieties of earrings necklace, bracelets, brooches, pen dents, payels, kalli, phuli etc. are popular items of Nepalese jewellery that are made of silver. The major export markets of Nepalese silver jewellery are USA, UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil etc.
Honey is emerging as export products of Nepal. It has a growing export markets, as honey is being used for food industry and in pharmaceutical sector. The cosmetic manufactures are also using it as an ingredient for soaps and shampoo. The hill mountain natural honey of Nepal is very famous for its exotic taste. The major export market of honey are UK, Republic of Korea, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Poland etc.
The Nepalese paper and paper products are very famous in the overseas market. The Nepalese papers are made from Lokta or Dayshing (Daphne cannabira) plants. The unique feature of Nepalese paper is its moth resistance quality. Besides Nepalese paper, varieties of products made from it like postcards, writing pads and papers, wood block prints, calendars, giftwrap, lampsades, etc. are exported from Nepal. The major markets are USA, Japan, Canada and European countries.