Nepal is one of the world's least developed countries. Although little of the land can be cultivated, an estimated 90% of the working population finds employment in agriculture and forestry.
Foodstuffs and live animals provide about 30% of Nepal's export earnings. The manufacturing sector is very small and concentrated in light industries.
The country has a considerable hydroelectric potential, but the sector is relatively underdeveloped. There is some mining. Tourism declined with the political turmoil, but is certainly on the way to recovery.
Nepal relies on substantial amounts of foreign aid, and runs a large external debt. Agreements have been signed with several other governments, including China (PR). Nepal is a member of the Asian Development Bank and the Colombo Plan.