Mega Trends in Nepal, Forecast to 2025
Nepal entered a phase of high economic growth of 7.5% in 2016-17, recovering from low economic growth post-earthquake and trade disruption. Nepal is undergoing significant economic transformation, uncovering investment opportunities across a wide array of sectors. The country seeks to sustain the impressive growth rate through increased momentum in post-earthquake reconstruction and significant spending on large infrastructure projects. Infrastructure investment will be a lucrative ground for private sector investment given the government focus on adopting Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for large infrastructure projects including hydropower, smart cities, new towns, railways and roadways. With Internet penetration reaching 63% in January 2018 as stated by a Nepal Telecom (NTC) report, Internet connectivity is available to a larger mass, which makes it feasible for online services to gain momentum. In fact, by 2025, compared to its neighboring countries – India and China, the penetration of Internet and mobile connections is predicted to be much higher as shown below. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Nepal is expected to be a forerunner in Internet penetration at 79% with China, following at a 75% penetration rate. Similarly, Nepal is projected to lead with 124% mobile connection penetration, while India’s mobile connected penetration is predicted at a mere 98% in 2025, thus making Nepal a ‘Mobile-first’ Country by 2025. Every 1 in 2 Nepalese have access to internet today against every 1 in 3 Indians and every 1 in 3 mobile phone users in Nepal uses smartphone now. As the global trend toward smart cities gains rampant pace, Nepal, also follows suit. With the intention of addressing the acute necessity for adequate urban infrastructure and attaining sustainable development, smart city initiatives are being put in motion. There has been a steady rise in the number of entrepreneurial ventures or startups in Nepal, thanks to increasing Internet penetration. In the process of digitization, some of the prominent revenue garnering sectors such as agriculture and tourism have been deploying mobile applications to improve productivity and efficiency. The country has also witnessed significant digital transformation in the space of transportation, governance, education and even agriculture.
This study uncovers the major trends "Mega Trends" that will impact the future development of the nation. While hydropower and tourism has traditionally been the key sector receiving Foreign Direct Investment, the manufacturing and services sectors’ performance has been improving steadily recently leading to increased investment. This study identifies investment opportunities in sectors besides hydropower such as solar power, FMCG, real estate, smart city, and information and communication technology among others. This study also provides case studies of successful businesses from regions like India and Africa that can be redone in this region. Finally this study also provides recommendations exclusively tailored for Nepal for the existing as well as new businesses.
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