Asian Development Bank: Bhutan Among Fastest Growing Economies In Asia

Email

In 2018, Bhutan’s GDP is projected to grow by 7.1 percent, the second highest growth after India (7.3 percent).

The exotic beauty of Bhutan. (Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan)

 

By Tshering Dorji | Kuensel

With an economic growth rate of 7.5 percent in 2017, Bhutan is the fastest growing economy in the developing Asian region, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The bank’s Asian Development Outlook 2018 states that the economic forecast sees continued, strong and stable growth in Bhutan. However, the delayed completion of two large hydropower plants has postponed a sharp upturn that was forecast earlier.

 

Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan

 

This means that the country is likely to experience a similar growth projection for the next two years. In 2018, the country’s GDP is projected to grow by 7.1 percent, the second highest growth after India (7.3 percent).

The Indian economy is expected be the fastest growing economy in 2019 with a projected 7.6 percent followed by Bhutan with 7.4 percent.

Unemployment of youth is an issue of concern in Bhutan

However, ADB observed that despite sustained economic progress, youth unemployment remains an issue of concern.

“Although Bhutan has enjoyed remarkable economic progress, growth has not brought commensurate job creation for new entrants into the labour force,” the report stated.

Besides the clichéd mismatch between skills and job demand and preference for office jobs over manual labour, there is still limited absorption capacity in the job market in the public sector.

Family support granted to young people while they are unemployed and the lack of motivation to pursue financial independence are cited as factors contributing to youth unemployment.

Cottage and small industries help to create employment for youth

On a brighter note, cottage and small industries (CSIs) employ on average almost five workers per enterprise. In 2017, such enterprises employed 92,322 workers, or over 26 percent of the labour force. The government has identified the CSI sector a potential area for generating youth employment opportunities.

Growth forecast for other sectors in Bhutan

Despite challenges, the service sector is expected to be the main driver of the economy as wholesale and retail businesses and tourism continue to expand.

The growth in the industrial sector is forecast to be moderate because the final stages of construction will slow down at the two large hydropower plants, Punatsangchhu I and II.

Moreover, industry growth will strengthen slightly in 2019 because of the expected commissioning of the Mangdechhu Hydropower Plant in September 2018, which will bolster electricity production and exports.

Agriculture, which is relatively a small sector, is expected to grow faster in 2018 than last year based on the assumption of normal weather and government efforts to introduce new crops.

The improvement in productivity and the channelling of additional credit to agriculture are part of the government’s agenda for financial inclusion, the ADB report states.

In addition, various reforms that are being undertaken to foster CSI start-ups through improved access to finance, programmes and institutions are also expected to bear results in the coming years.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

Bhutan To Graduate From Being A Least Developed Country

Secretary of Gross National Happiness Commission spoke to thethirdpole.net about what this milestone means for Bhutan.

May 08, 2018 09:44

Bhutan to Graduate from Least Developed Countries Group by 2022

Bhutan has stable political, economic and social settings that could attract a lot of Foreign Direct Investments.

Nov 17, 2017 09:01

Applying the Concept of GNH on Social Enterprises

The essence of a social entrepreneur is what they can do and how they can balance the social and the commercial aspects...

Nov 14, 2017 07:47

Tourism Growth Boosts Handicrafts Business

“We can see the happiness in the colours and it’s very special. I think it’s essential that westerners come over,...

Nov 01, 2017 07:10

Bhutan Government Waives Off USD 65 a Day for Tourists

The move is expected to promote tourism in the eastern part of the country

Dec 11, 2017 09:33

​Bhutan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Economy in 2017

Lyonchhen said that if one went by The Economist ‘World in numbers’ figures, then Bhutan is predicted to be the fastest...

Jan 03, 2018 11:36

Latest

News

Embracing Diversity - Bhutan Takes Huge Step Towards Decriminalising Homosexuality

Sections 213 and 214 that criminalised ‘unnatural sex’ removed from the Penal Code of Bhutan.

Jun 13, 2019 22:48

Commemorating Bhutan’s 20 Years Of Internet Journey With Workshops Held By The Bhutan Network Operators Group

The Bhutan Network Operators Group (btNOG) celebrated 20 years of internet journey in Bhutan with 116 Information and Communication...

Jun 07, 2019 18:48

Features

Advocating For A Central School For The Sakteng Community In Bhutan

Mangmi Lhendrup said that without boarding facilities, small children were left without care and guidance from their parents.

Jun 15, 2019 23:58

National Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol Drafted To Ensure That Bhutan’s Rich Biodiversity Thrives

The development of the protocol is Bhutan's first attempt to put in place a proper biodiversity monitoring system at the national-level.

Jun 15, 2019 15:18

Sports

Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 07, 2019 22:18

Meet Choki Om – First Woman From Bhutan To Become A FIFA Referee

Originally from the district of Wangdue, Choki has already been a referee for over a decade.

May 16, 2019 20:58

Business

Swiss Business Delegates Visited Bhutan To Explore Business Opportunities

“Switzerland has a strong industrial base that equally matches the geographical conditions of Bhutan,” said Phub Zam.

Jun 14, 2019 17:25

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Pema And Rinchen Dorji Wangyel Of Wangyel Studio

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

May 28, 2019 19:18

Travel

Incorporating The Values Of Gross National Happiness Into Bhutan’s Hospitality Sector

High-end hotels like Six Senses and Zhiwa Ling have come up with their own ways to incorporate the tenets of GNH and sustainability...

Jun 09, 2019 19:28

Harnessing The Power Of Traditional Medicine, Wellness Tourism Set To Take Off In Bhutan

Traditional medicine has been gaining popularity in providing health care services to the Bhutanese.

May 29, 2019 19:48

Lifestyle

Food Review: Cloud9 Cafe & Bar

Cloud9 has always been known in Thimphu for dishing out handcrafted gourmet burgers.

Mar 09, 2019 09:44

Tshering Zangmo Represents Bhutan At The 5th Young Chef Olympiad In India

Tshering Zangmo has successfully made it to round two of the Olympiad.

Feb 04, 2019 16:35

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!