Thimphu TechPark aims to attract foreign investment
The main mission of the company is to attract reputed IT/ITES companies from both within Bhutan and around the world to work with the company for technology based collaboration, learning and innovation.
According to the company’s annual performance report, the Thimphu TechPark Limited (TTPL) earned a modest profit of Nu. 5.035 mn in the year 2016 which is a huge increase compared to Nu.1.75 mn in 2015.
The company which is categorized as a Special Economic Zone is currently under tax holiday in accordance with the fiscal incentives offered by the government for ten years for IT/ITES related business operating within the IT Park.
The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr. Tshering Cigay Dorji said that TTPL did not declare any dividends for the year 2016 as the company required funds for near and medium term investment.
He said that the main mission of the company was to attract reputed IT/ITES companies from both within Bhutan and around the world to work with the company for technology based collaboration, learning and innovation. This will in turn create employment opportunities and maximize the efficient utilization of assets which will thereby increase the return on investment for all stakeholders.
In the year 2017, the company focused on mainly attracting more tenants to fill the commercial spaces and investing in the infrastructural development of the company. The annual reports states that the company has crossed the employment target of 700 and has been maintaining employment figures above the set target since the year 2016.
TTPL has also been successful in leasing out huge spaces for commercial needs and developing the Corporate Strategic Plans and the five Year Investment and Financing Plan.
The company has also established a daycare center, funded by DHI and UNICEF for the benefit of the employees working there and currently there are around 50 children enrolled in the center.
The CEO said, “Overall the company was able to meet all the financial and non-financial compact targets for 2016. Going forward, the company would like to focus on the expansion of its business as well as its physical infrastructure, we are confident that the IT Park would continue to play an important role in the development of the IT/ITES industry for creating more employment opportunities and earning foreign exchange for Bhutan.”
Despite the gradual growth, the company is still facing some challenges in achieving its targets efficiently. A report pointed out that the IT hub faces the challenge of being located at a distance from the center of the city which makes it inconvenient for the tenants. Moreover, internet connectivity is not very reliable.
“Attracting foreign companies to Bhutan is challenging and it takes a long time to get a company to make the decision to move part of their operations to Bhutan and overall this is part of a bigger challenge that Bhutan is facing in promoting itself as an attractive investment destination for foreign investors,” states the annual report of the company.
Druk Holding and Investment (DHI) assumed full ownership of the company after the Assetz Property Group of Singapore decided to withdraw the partnership and transferred its shares to DHI. DHI now holds 51% of the share and Bhutan Telecom Limited holds the remaining 49%.
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Sonam Yangdon (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)
This article first appeared on The Bhutanese.