​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 growing economy in the world by 2018 with a projected economic growth of 9.2 percent.

​Bhutan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Economy in 2017. (Source: http://thebhutanese.bt)

 

In response to a question asked during the ‘meet the press’ session regarding the inability of the current government in achieving the 10 percent growth rate targeted in its manifesto, the Prime Minister while acknowledging that it was not possible, said that actually a lot of progress had been achieved.

The completion of three mega projects

The PM said that the 11th plan document had predicted an average growth rate of 12 percent premised mainly on the completion of three mega projects - P I, P II and the Mangdechu well within the 11th plan period.

Giving examples, the PM said that the 11th plan document showed that in the fiscal year of 2016-17, there would be a 17 percent growth followed by a 24 percent expansion in 2017-18.

He said that more than 80 percent of these then projected growth figures were due to the completion of the three projects and the revenue generated from them.

The PM essentially said that despite the fact that none of the hydro projects went according to initial plans due to geological surprises and an economic crisis at play in 2013, the incumbent government had restored the economy to good health and generated economic growth rates that are among the world’s highest.

The PM said that going by the World Bank data Bhutan in 2013 had grown by only 2.1 percent which was 134th among all countries.

In 2014 this growth was 5.4 percent and Bhutan was placed at the 42nd position.

In 2015 there was a 6.6 percent growth and Bhutan ranked 20th.

In 2016 the growth reached 8 percent and Bhutan became the sixth fastest growing economy in the world.

Bhutan is projected to be the third fastest growing economy in the world in 2017

The PM said that since the World Bank data is not out yet for 2017, the International Monetary Fund outlook report published last year predicted Bhutan’s economy to grow by 8.4 percent in 2017, making it the third fastest growing economy in the world just behind Myanmar and Ivory Coast.

Lyonchhen said that if one went by The Economist ‘World in numbers’ figures, then Bhutan is predicted to be the fastest growing economy in the world by 2018 with a projected economic growth of 9.2 percent.

The PM said that while the 10 percent growth rate could not be achieved due to geological surprises and delayed hydro projects, what has been achieved despite that since 2013 is nothing short of spectacular. The PM said that these are growth rates measured and projected by the WB, IMF and The Economist.

Government had taken various other initiatives to boost Bhutan’s economy

Lyonchhen said that the government had taken various other initiatives to boost Bhutan’s economy. He said that the REDCL and the Priority Sector Lending (Nu 1.5 bn a year) combined would mean huge investments in the agriculture and cottage industries.

The PM said that fuel prices had been slashed as an incentive and once the hydro projects are completed, there would be industries coming up for which the government was constructing industrial estates in Dham Dhum, Jigmeling, Motanga and Bondyema. He said all this would add to growth in the future.

The PM said that the nation might want to celebrate as the increased economic growth was not just due to the government but due to the efforts of the people.

The Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Dorji said that in 2013 when the government came in the health of the economy was very poor.

Bhutan at the time was facing a rupee crisis, banks had stopped giving credit in various sectors including housing and there were various import bans.

The FM said that by any conventional economic theory, a country takes about 10 to 15 years to recover from such an economic crisis but Bhutan had made a much faster recovery and is now doing well.

The FM also alluded to the reduced loan interest rates that had been achieved in consultation with the Central Bank. The FM later mentioned other measures like the PIT tax exemption which benefited the poor and the middle class the most.

 

By Staff Writer (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on The Bhutanese.

 


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