Nepal is known as a landlocked mountainous country, recognised for its beauty. This beauty is, however, adored at the surficial level only because the same tourist will start speaking about the haphazard urbanisation and other socio-economic problems when we start talking with them.
Nepal needs ways to strategise development and convert its weaknesses into strengths.
Nepal heavily depends on remittance, which is seen as a negative aspect for growth. The government must realise that when unskilled people go out to work, they return as trained manpower. The government could help them with machinery or provide a space to make the most of their skills.
In many cases, Nepali migrant workers also learn a foreign language. These people could be trained as tourist guides or use them to develop home-stays. Such groups understand the foreign culture well and know how to treat the foreign tourists appropriately.
Presently, people from the rural areas are migrating to urban areas, which has caused imbalanced growth, destroyed the natural resources of the city while creating unemployment problems in the country. Such empty rural spaces could be purchased by the state and leased out to private firms for commercial farming.
Nepal produces a large number of nurses annually and has many places with a good climate.
Japan on the other hand has an emerging aging population while land and labour in Japan are extremely expensive.
The Nepali government in partnership with the Japanese government could design old-age homes in Nepal, where old people from Japan could be taken care of at less expense while creating jobs for the Nepalis.
Nepal has seen growing ties with China in recent years, and quite a large number of Chinese have established hotels and restaurants in Nepal. A major complaint is that transactions between the business establishment and the Chinese customers are done using the Chinese digital pay system, which circumvents the Nepali banks.
Nepal should, therefore, work with the Chinese digital pay systems and Chinese banks to keep track of the transactions using Nepali servers.
There is no universal concept for strategising development, but the government needs to be creative. The government should consult experts while citizens should be pro-active to put pressure on the government not to fall into the clutches of powerful syndicates.
A version of this article appears in print on July 03, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.