Home to Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, this mountainous country in the Himalayas relies heavily on international tourism and trade with India, both of which have been disrupted by COVID-19 and rumbling border tensions. However, the economy has weathered the pandemic better than many others.
Talent Pool & Education
An emerging outsourcing destination, Nepal has well-trained programmers and engineers, and has taken impressive steps towards improving access and equality in education during recent years. Progress has been slow on the government’s Digital Nepal Framework, prioritizing hard infrastructure and IT investment. A 5G technology trial by the state-owned telecom operator NTC is scheduled for launch in June 2022.
Nepali is the official language, but English is widely used in business dealings and is most prevalent among city dwellers in the capital Kathmandu.
2021 was punctuated by political upheaval and continued global disconnect for Nepal, but it was also a year of economic recovery, according to the East Asia Forum. In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank has forecast the country’s economy to grow by 3.9% in the current fiscal year, “supported by better agricultural output and rebounding services activity on improving vaccine coverage.” While tourist numbers dropped to their lowest level since 1977, the stock exchange has recorded record volumes, and construction has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of the Nepali Congress leads a fragile coalition after being appointed in mid-2021 by the Supreme Court, which overturned President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s order to dissolve Parliament. General elections are due to be held in November 2022. Nepal’s relationship with India has remained strained due to ongoing border disputes. Nepal is also grappling with rising friction with China and accusations of a security sell-out to the US over a US Millennium Challenge Corporation grant of $500 million.