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An update from Evaneos

Economic situation in Bhutan

It seems a bit odd to speak of economy in a country which attaches as much importance to GNH (Gross National Happiness). Nevertheless, on a more down to earth note you will discover as your trip to Bhutan unfolds, a poor country that is amongst the least developed in the world.

Economic situation

When you think of organising your trip to Bhutan , you will no doubt think of this characteristic that is unique on our planet, the calculation of the GNH, the Gross National Happiness. No laughing matter, this indicator is taken very seriously and features as one of the most important for all Bhutanese. You will therefore understand how futile and complicated it is to speak of the economy pure and simple in Bhutan, a country where the inhabitants aspire to only one thing, happiness.

Bhutan has a GDP of a little over 5 billion dollars. The GDP per annum and per inhabitant is about $7000 (£4500). The growth rate is a healthy 6% and the unemployment rate is very low at only 2%. The proportion of the population living under the poverty line is 12% and the 11% rate of inflation remains a big problem. The trade deficit is a little under 40% of the GDP and due to its limited ressources, Bhutan is forced to import more than it exports. Bhutan's principal commercial partners are India and South Korea.

In Bhutan

The different sectors

The agricultural sector employs 62% of the population and accounts for just under 14% of the GDP. It is thanks to agriculture and forestry that 90% of the Bhutanese population is able to make a living.

Industry employs 19% of the population and represents a little over 41% of the GDP.

It is roughly the same thing in the service sector which also employs 19% of the population, but represents 45% of the GDP. Even if the tourism sector is still brand new and very recent, it already constitutes 20% of the country's ressources. Along with hydroelectric power production, tourism is the mainstay of Bhutan's economy .

David Debrincat
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