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Nepal, Economy

The United Nations (UN) classifies Nepal as one of the least developed countries in the world. The countryís gross domestic product (GDP) was $5.5 billion in 2000, with an estimated per capita GDP of $240. Several factors have contributed to Nepalís underdevelopment, including its landlocked geography, rugged terrain, lack of natural resources, and poor infrastructure. China, India, Japan, the United States, and several European nations have made large investments in Nepalís economy through foreign aid since 1952. Still, the countryís economic growth has been slow. Nepalís economy is characterized by heavy dependence on foreign aid, a narrow range of exports, increasing economic disparity between the mountain areas and the more developed Tarai region, excessive governmental control and regulation, and inefficient public enterprises and administration. In addition, the economy has not kept pace with the countryís high population growth. In particular, the slow growth of agriculture has resulted in food shortages and malnutrition for some of Nepalís people.

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