General Information

Official Name: The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal

Capital City: Kathmandu

Area: 147,181 Square KM

Population: 26m (2011)

Diplomatic Representation: Embassy (in-residence)

Official Language: Nepali. There are also 123 other local languages.

Currency: Nepal rupee (1 USD = about 95 Nepalese rupee)

Climate: Nepal experiences all four seasons; winter (December – February), Spring (March – May), Summer (June – August) and Autumn (September – November). Light clothes could be worn from May to October and heavy clothes starting from October until March.



Nepal is located in the Himalayas between India and China. It is bordered by China’s Tibet region to the north and India to the east, west and south. It is a landlocked country whose length goes from west to east and width goes from north to south. Nepal is one of the smaller countries in the Indian Peninsula. It is not often heard of in the world stage because of its isolated location, rugged interior and its remoteness. It is located in the midst of the rough Himalayas. As a result of these features, Nepal didn’t merge with any of the bigger political entities in the Indian Peninsula. It remained almost isolated for centuries since its borders were first demarked in the 18th century. The country is divided into five regions that are the eastern, central, western, midwestern and far western regions. The regions include 14 provinces that in turn include 75 districts.



The total area of Nepal is estimated at 147,181 square km, 143,351 km of which is land and 3380 square km of water. The border of the country is 2926 km long.



Nepal’s geography is rugged and mountainous. It is made up of extremely high mountain ranges extending from west to east and sometimes from south to north. The height of these mountains ranges between 3000 and 8000 meters. They include the world’s highest mountain summit, Mount Everest, which rises 8848 meters above sea level. The mountain ranges have internal valleys through which several rivers run. Some valleys have swamps, such as the Terai swamp, whose water flow into the rivers of Brahmaputra and Ganges. Arable land is estimated at 16.07% of the total area and permanent crops are estimated at around 0.85% while other crops are around 83.08% (as of 2005). Irrigated cultivated land is estimated at around 11,680 square km (as of 2003).

Natural resources in Nepal are quartz, water, timber, hydroelectric power, coal, copper, cobalt and iron ore.


The weather is cold in elevated areas. There are several mountain summits permanently covered with snow, as temperature goes below 0°C. Lowland areas surrounded by mountains are relatively warm, which encourages most of the population to live there. The summer is hot in the lowland valleys, cold above the mountains and sees seasonal rain – just like the rest of the Indian Peninsula.

As a result of the great variety of elevation in Nepal, tropical savanna grows along the Indian border in addition to subtropical broadleaf and coniferous forests in the Hill region and mountain grasslands, shrubs, rock and snow at the highest elevations.


Population and Ethnicities

Nepal’s population is around 26 million according to a 2011 census. About 36% of the population lives in the central region that includes capital city Kathmandu. There are several tribes and ethnicities in the Nepal, which is inhabited by around 125 different communities and ethnic groups talking 123 languages and local dialects. Meanwhile, most of the population uses the official Nepali language. Common people do not normally speak English.



There are several religions and deities in Nepal, amounting to around 12 different religions. The majority of the Nepalese population, about 81%, follows Hinduism, which used to be the official religion of the Kingdom of Nepal before the conversion to a republic. Buddhism comes second, followed by 9% of the population, then Islam 4.5%, Kirant 3%, and Christianity 1.5%.



Nepal turned from a monarchy to a constitutional republic on May 28, 2008. Following the first parliamentary elections in 2008, a president and a vice president were elected. Then a prime minister was appointed and other constitutional entities instated, such as the Constituent Assembly, which was tasked with writing a new constitution for the country within 4 years. However, the assembly failed in this task and was dissolved to throw the country in a constitutional crisis that almost pushed it back to the first square (the civil war period) and blew away everything that was achieved until then. Under international and regional pressure, political parties agreed to form a provisional government led by the Chief Justice with an aim to hold parliamentary election and form a government in order to break the stalemate in the country. A second parliamentary election took place on November 19, 2013 and a coalition government was formed led by Mr. Sushil Koirala – the president of the Nepali Congress party which had won the election. Besides the Congress party, the coalition government included the Communist Party of Nepal (unified Marxist-Leninist), which came second in the election, along with other smaller parties. Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chose to be on the opposition side in the constituent assembly.



The health situation in Nepal is relatively good. There are no epidemic diseases or epidemics that require vaccination before traveling to Nepal except malaria (in lowlands with lots of swamps) and certain strains of flu such as bird flu and swine flu that break out from time to time. Diarrhea is prevalent in remote rural areas because of the poor sanitation and the lack of potable water. Pollution is seriously high, especially in Kathmandu, and hence protective masks are advised during any walking around the city.


The Security Situation

Security and criminal situation is generally stable.

Key Laws

Nepal currently follows the 2007 provisional constitution. The most important laws, especially those that regulate personal status, are as follows:

  • Dual citizenship is completely prohibited by Nepalese constitution.
  • The legal age for casting ballots and getting married is 18 years for both men and women.
  • The laws provide for the Nepalese citizens’ rights of expression, gathering, establishing political parties and other rights.

Monetary Regulations

  • The Nepalese Central Bank Law in 1955, according to which the central bank was established in the following year.
  • The Nepalese Central Bank Law in 2002, which includes drafting monetary policies, guarantees price stability and monitoring the banking and financial systems. There are no Qatari or Arab banks in Nepal, only a few foreign banks and several local banks and financial institutions.

Society, customs and traditions

The mainstream culture in Nepal is a conservative one. There is a general culture of tolerance. Although most of the population follows Hinduism, it is a custom that people exchange congratulations for feasts of different religions such as Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.


Economy and Investment

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world with one of the lowest growth rates. Around one third of the nation lives under the international poverty line. Farming is the main sector and it is how around three thirds of the population make their living. It contributes around 34.9% to the Nepalese GDP. The industrial activity is focused on processing agrarian products such as beans, sugar cane, tobacco, and grains; in addition to hand crafts.

Farming, tourism and remittances of expatriate workers form the main pillars of economy and national income in Nepal. Despite the huge investment opportunities in sectors such as water, infrastructure, tourism, mining, hydroelectricity and hydrogen power (which is estimated at around 42,000 MW); there are several obstacles to attracting foreign investment including political instability, the smallness of the Nepalese economy, technological underdevelopment, the country being away from shores, civilian and labor unrest, exposure to natural disasters and lack of international standards compliant investment laws.