For many years, UNCTAD has been emphasising the importance of developing countries strengthening and
diversifying their services sector.
Since 1990 the share of services in GDP in developed countries grew from 64 percent to 72 percent. By contrast, in developing countries the share of services in GDP grew from 46 percent
to 50 percent, with services accounting for only 35 percent of formal employment. These figures suggest a large
un-tapped potential for developing countries to advance the development of their services sectors.
The Accra Accord states that “The services economy is the new frontier for the expansion of trade, productivity
and competitiveness, and for the provision of essential services and universal access.”
The Accord calls upon UNCTAD to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to establish regulatory and
institutional frameworks and cooperative mechanisms to strengthen the capacity, efficiency and competitiveness
of their services sector, and to increase their participation in global services production and trade, including by
“providing support in national services assessment and policy reviews.”
UNCTAD developed its tailormade National Services Policy Reviews (NSPR) in response to the Accra Accord.
The services sector in Nepal is now the largest sector in the economy; its share of GDP has risen from 26 percent
in 1980 to over 42 percent today.
The Nepalese NSPR focused on two future growth areas within the services sector, namely tourism and IT services. In conducting the NSPR a national team of experts, with technical assistance from UNCTAD, engaged with a broad group of stakeholders from government, industry, academia and
civil society to identify challenges and opportunities in tourism and IT services.
The process included an analysis of the current policy framework for the tourism and IT services sector; regulatory and institutional challenges
inhibiting sectoral development; national development objectives; prospective policy options to strengthen domestic
supply capacity and SMEs competitiveness; and the potential impacts of services and services trade
liberalization on sectoral FDI, SMEs, efficiency, employment, access to foreign markets and universal access to
The resulting recommendations from the NSPR are set out in detail in the body of this report and include proposed
measures to enhance the tourism services sector and improve the IT services sector.
I hope that the contents of this publication will contribute to providing a strategic vision for the development of
Nepal’s services sector, and assist the country to continue to derive development benefits from trade in services.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD