During the past five years, Nepal’s transport sector has grown at an average rate of 6.9 %. Currently the sector accounts for 10.6% of Real GDP. Over the next five years, the government hopes to mobilize US$ 8.2 billion for road infrastructure, rail connectivity and transport sector management. According to a national study for the National Planning Commission, to achieve its development targets, Nepal has to invest between 8 to 12 percent of GDP until 2020 which amounts to over a billion dollar annually to adequately develop its infrastructure. Transport infrastructure forms a major portion of this investment need. With the formation of a stable government that has ambitious plans for economic growth involving a heavy focus on infrastructural development, there are unparalleled opportunities for foreign investors to invest in transportation infrastructure projects such as, fast track roads, railways, airports, ropeways, cable cars and urban transport. The Government has put forward plans to develop important national highways as Express hig
hways and East-West and North-South roads of national importance as national strategic road network. There are plans to connect the centres of all the local levels with pitched roads in the next five years. Only 19% of roads in Nepal are all weather roads. Hence, there are many opportunities to expand the road network, for which the government is seeking to form public-private partnerships. In order to cater to the needs of the growing population, the development of mass public transportation systems – bus-rapid transport (BRT), railways, monorails, airports, etc. has been prioritised. The recent Policy and Programmes of the government has put forward plans to construct Mechi-Mahakali Railway, Kathmandu-Birgunj Railway, and Rasuwagadhi-Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini Railway. Similarly, the government has also focused on further developing air transport, including the restructuring, upgrading and expanding of the Tribhuwan International Airport. To finance these projects, the government is looking at public-private partnerships. Moreover, Nepal possesses huge potential to become a profitable transit destination connecting routes between Indian and China.