Austrian Delegation Seek Investment Opportunities In Bhutan And To Foster Stronger Ties

Email

According to the Austrian delegates, eight companies from diverse sectors such as energy, engineering, tourism and health visited Bhutan to explore new opportunities.

(Source: Facebook/Austriabhutansociety)

 

By MB Subba Kuensel

According to the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Austria’s expertise in agriculture, hydropower, tourism and manufacturing industries makes it a potential investor for Bhutan.

A delegation from Austria is in the country from 1-6 December to explore potential areas of cooperation with the Bhutanese government and the business community.

 

Source: BBS

 

A forum was also organised by the Austrian Development Agency to bring entrepreneurs from the two countries together to create business partnerships and to harness each other’s strengths.

Austria and Bhutan share similar industries such as hydroelectric power and organic farming

Speaking to the delegation in Thimphu on 4 December, the Deputy Secretary General of the BCCI, Chandra Chhetri said that Austria is a leader in the hydroelectric power and organic farming industries.  

In addition, the tourism industry is also an essential pillar of the Austrian economy. Thus, both countries share some similarities.

“The two countries hold tremendous scope to work within the bilateral framework,” the Deputy Secretary General of BCCI said.

 

A popular agricultural product - Bhutan Red Rice, irrigated by the glacial waters of the Himalayas.

Source: Bhutan Natural

 

The business delegation is accompanying the Austrian Ambassador to Bhutan, Brigitte Oeppinger-Walchshofer, the President of Tourism and Leisure Industry in the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Petra Nocker-Schwarzenbacher and the Commercial Counsellor for Bhutan in the Austrian Embassy, Dr Robert Luck.

Economic Affairs Minister, Loknath Sharma said that the government is committed to making Bhutan one of the 50 best countries to do business in the world. The ‘Ease of Doing Business Report 2019’ placed Bhutan in the 81st position.

Austria delegates seek business opportunities in Bhutan

According to the Austrian delegates, eight companies from diverse sectors such as energy, engineering, tourism and health visited Bhutan to explore new opportunities.

The visit also helps the delegates find business partners for their endeavours and to deepen the already existing engagement between the two nations.

“We look forward to furthering cooperation,” said the Deputy Secretary General of the BCCI.

According to the BCCI, Austria is the 14th largest import country, with Bhutan importing goods worth Nu 179 million (M) last year. Austria, he said, stood 15th as Bhutan’s export country with an export value of Nu 46M.

Why Bhutan needs to diversify its economy?

The Chief Planning Officer in the Economic Affairs Ministry’s Policy and Planning Division, Sonam Lhendup, said that there were compelling reasons for Bhutan to diversify its economy, which currently is dominated by hydropower and tourism.

 

A masked dance performed at a tshechu (festival) in Bhutan.

Source: DrukAsia

 

The key question, however, is how the country should go about diversifying its economy.

“We have started diversifying our economy,” he said citing the establishment of Bhutan Hydropower Services Limited in Jigmeling, Sarpang.

Sonam Lhuendup said that policies related to investment including the Foreign Direct Investment Policy and the Mining Policy will be reviewed during the 12th Plan.

According to him, the establishment of industrial estates and the Pasakha dry port will be also completed.

Data centres, BPOs and agriculture and allied activities were also cited as some of the areas of investment. The agriculture sector’s contribution Bhutan’s GDP was 17.37 percent in 2017.

Attributes which make Bhutan an attractive place for investors

Bhutan has 300 acres of land in industrial parks earmarked for the establishment of agriculture processing enterprises.

Bottled drinking water was highlighted as one of the products that carry high potential for return. Officials also said that the export market for bottled water is expected to increase by about 10 percent in the coming years.

Officials from the Economic Affairs Ministry said that Bhutan also provides a gateway to India, one of the biggest economies in the world. The low cost of electricity in Bhutan was also cited as one of the main advantages Bhutan offers to investors.

Bhutan’s English-speaking workforce and its low labour costs make the country an attractive country for investment.

The President of the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Phub Zam said, “Bhutan is an economy in transition and presents huge investment opportunities.”

  

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


Related Posts

Bhutan Received 71,417 International Visitors In 2017; Singapore,...

In 2017, Bhutan received 71,417 international visitors and the revenue earned was USD 79m, the highest arrival and...

Dec 03, 2018 11:25

Start-up Centre In Bhutan Held Session To Provide Advice On Doing...

Guidance was provided during the first session on starting a business held at the newly established start-up centre at...

Aug 14, 2018 12:06

Denmark to Support Bhutan’s Organic Agriculture

Bhutan officially launched the policy for organic farming in 2007 and proclaimed the intention to become a fully organic...

Oct 24, 2017 14:50

According To The World Bank, Bhutan Ranked 81st In Ease Of Doing...

The rankings were determined by sorting the aggregate scores on 10 parameters, each consisting of several indicators.

Nov 05, 2018 15:45

Asian Development Bank: Bhutan Among Fastest Growing Economies In...

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

Jul 10, 2018 18:48

​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

Their Majesties, Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering And Other Dignitaries Of Bhutan Offered Prayers For Sri Lanka

His Majesty also sent a message of condolence to the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, expressing the solidarity of the people...

Apr 24, 2019 20:08

WFP Shifts Focus To Capacity Development In Nutrition And Disaster Preparedness In Bhutan

The decision was made after consultations with Bhutan's government, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Apr 19, 2019 13:02

Features

How Bhutan Changed My Life: Tamiki Nakashima

Tamiki Nakashima, who is from Japan, speaks about how life is like for him while living in Bhutan.

Apr 25, 2019 11:11

Addressing Some Challenges As Bhutan Prepares For Rise In Tourist Arrivals

The gross receipt from tourism is expected to increase from Nu 10.6 billion in 2018 to about Nu 39.16 billion in the next five years.

Apr 23, 2019 17:40

Sports

Bhutan To Hold First 'Sports And Culture Festival' For Runners And Cyclists

There are two tiers to the event, comprising of a full-race distance of 50km and a half-race of 25km.

Mar 06, 2019 17:14

Bhutan’s HRH Princess Eeuphelma Choden Wangchuck Attended The General Assembly of the Asian Paralympic Committee In Dubai

The General Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Asian Paralympic Movement.

Feb 08, 2019 18:15

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kinley Dema Of BuBu Bakery, Lobesa

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

Apr 20, 2019 19:18

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Sonam Choden of Rolling Pin Bakery in Thimphu

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

Apr 11, 2019 11:08

Travel

Can Bhutan Take Its Happiness Brand To The Next Level?

Two key challenges: galvanising citizens as brand ambassadors and applying brand recognition to growth sectors.

Apr 21, 2019 10:40

The Magical Waters Of Gasa Tsachu – A Popular Hot Spring In Bhutan

While most people visit the hot spring in the hope that it could cure them of various ailments, it has become an annual visit for many to...

Mar 25, 2019 14:38

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!