Education sector in Nepal has good investment opportunities in the areas of technical and vocational education, education city, and research centres. The Government of Nepal is increasingly focused on improving labour productivity and developing skilled labour-force that can meet industry needs, both at home and abroad. The 2012 Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy also recognized the need for skill-development training programs to adjust to the demands of the labor market and make Nepali workers more competitive in the international labour market. A total of 3,509,633 labour permits were issued by the Department of Foreign Employment from FY 2008/09 through 2016/17. Moreover, in its recent Policy and Program, the Government has emphasized its aim to move a large amount of agricultural labour force into other sectors. These facts and figures represent a huge market for investment in the technical and vocation education. Presently, most players on the supply-side are organized as stand-alone entities and operate in market in small and fragmented way making the sector lucrative for new big players. There are also good prospects to establish education cities which are dedicated and serviced areas for education institutes in the outskirts of any major city. In the last nine months of 2016, 39,307 students received no objection letters which is a mandatory document from Ministry of Education for students going abroad for higher studies. In addition, the open border allows many students to go to India for studies without formal authorization. Investment in education city can tap into this huge market of students who are looking for higher quality education. Finally, there is opportunity for investors to establish researcher centres that are committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge, in a range of disciplines and fields, and featuring the appropriate laboratories, libraries, and other infrastructures that permit teaching and research at the highest possible level.
Investment opportunities in the health sector mainly lie in three areas: pharmaceutical industry, health care facilities, Ayurvedic drugs and Ayurveda holistic treatment centres, and health care educational services. Nepal has a relatively large population of 28 million but approximately 50% medicine and health care supply is met by way of imports. There are opportunities for large scale pharmaceutical manufacturers to fill the supply gaps by introducing new technologies and taking the pharmaceutical industry to a higher level. Favourable policies of the government, free market approach to health sector and regulation, existence of the domestic market and export potential, favourable WTO/TRIPS policy, restriction on imports without WHO/GMP Certification, and the rise in health care awareness among the people provide lucrative incentives for foreign investors in the pharmaceuticals industry. The disposable income of Nepali people is on the rise, not least due to remittances but the demand supply gap for health care facilities is high. On the other hand, there has been a significant growth of medical and nursing colleges that has increased both the quantity and quality of health care professionals available in Nepal. So, there are significant opportunities for international healthcare providers to meet Nepal’s domestic demand either through sole investment or joint ventures, the latter being significantly popular in recent years. Similarly, the Government has recognized and supported Ayurveda and homeopathy, traditional South Asian systems of medical care, which are based on the use of herbs and minerals. Although, this segment of the pharmaceutical industry is highly fragmented and un-organized, there have been some recent attempts to organize commercial-scale manufacturing these drugs. Presence of a wide variety of plants out of which 700 have medicinal properties, and favourable climatic and policy environment provide excellent opportunity for the investors.