While poverty is declining in Nepal, the unemployment rate in the country equates to approximately half the work age population. Many Nepalese choose to move to other countries in search of work including India, Thailand, Japan, and Qatar. Many expatriates working in Nepal are doing so voluntarily, for the experience and the ability to trek and travel in and around the region; however, there are many opportunities for skilled expatriates to find paid work also.
While agriculture makes up approximately 76% of the workforce of Nepal, in 2010 the industry accounted for only 36.1% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The lion's share of the GDP was provided by service-based industries, which accounted for 48.5% of the GDP, yet only 15.4% of the workforce.
Nepal receives approximately 50 million USD each year through the famous Gurkha soldiers who fight alongside Indian and British armies. In 2009, this contribution made up over 20% of the nation's GDP alone.
Crops grown in Nepal, typically in the fertile Terai region in the south, include tea, rice, wheat, corn and sugar, and there is a considerable workforce employed to process these crops.
Of course, with such natural beauty and diverse environments, Nepal is an attractive place for tourists and especially trekkers, but growth in the tourism sector has been hindered by poor infrastructure and instability in the political sphere.
While one of the main industries in Nepal is agriculture, the main exports are material-based. Carpets and other garments are top of the list, with yarn and other materials making up a percentage also. The European Union is the main importer of Nepalese garments, accounting for approximately 46%.
Other exports include iron and steel sheets, dried legumes, tea, wheat and fruit and vegetable juices. While trade in Nepal is improving, the Nepalese government still receives aid from various nations including the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Germany and their close neighbors, India and China.
Any non-Indian expatriate wanting to live and work in Nepal will require a visa. These are available from any Royal Nepalese Embassy or Consulate, and it is advised that this is arranged in advance of travel. With Nepal being considered a developing country, the laws around entering the country are reasonably relaxed, and expatriates can arrange non-tourist visas, business visas (specifically for investors and exporters), and residential visas if they can prove to be of benefit to the economic, social or cultural growth of the country.
There is work in Nepal for skilled expatriates. Outside of voluntary work, there are posts for a wide range of roles including administration, management, finance and accounting, right through to computer programming, web development and teaching. The vast majority of work is available in Kathmandu.
Employers include charities and other nonprofit organizations such as Oxfam, schools and universities, governmental departments and a large number of technology companies, ranging from web design to software engineering and everything in between.
There are some online resources for expats moving to Nepal for work. The Jobs Nepal website, for instance, has listings of a multitude of employers looking for skilled workers and splits posts into categories, job types or location.
Due to the catastrophic damage caused by the Nepal earthquake in April 2015, which might take years to rebuild, we cannot ensure that the factual information in this article series is up-to-date for the entire country. It is yet unclear for how long, or in which way, issues like health and safety, transport, or the national economy will be affected. Thank you for your understanding!
InterNations Content & Communications Team