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 Bhutan Times.


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

National Assembly Election 2018: Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa And Druk Phuensum Thosgpa Through To General Round

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa secured 92,722 votes and Druk Phuensum Thosgpa secured 90,020 votes.

Sep 15, 2018 21:50

Samdrup Jongkhar Aims To Be The First Plastic Free Town In Bhutan

It may take time for Samdrup Jongkgar to become a completely plastic-free town but the residents will work towards fulfilling this dream...

Sep 11, 2018 16:56

Features

Drukgyel Dzong Which Used To House Sacred Bhutanese Documents Lost to A Fire In 1951, To Be Restored By 2022

The reconstruction works began in April 2016 after the command of His Majesty The King to celebrate the birth of His Royal Highness (HRH)...

Sep 17, 2018 15:42

11 Year Old Author Revives Forgotten Snowball Culture Of ‘Khakey’ In Bhutan

Khakey is a custom that originated in Western Bhutan and was popular a few generations ago.

Sep 13, 2018 19:27

Sports

Bhutanese Female Athlete Aces In Athletics And Boxing While Juggling Studies

Tandin was selected to compete at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia last month.

Sep 09, 2018 17:24

An American Won The Breath-Taking 268km Tour Of The Dragon Mountain Bike Race In Bhutan

The 268 km race is considered as the toughest one-day mountain bike race in the world.

Sep 05, 2018 16:30

Business

Cultivation Of Avocado Looks Set To Take Off In Tsirang, Bhutan

A few farmers have already started selling avocados in the Sunday vegetable market for about Nu 250-350 a kilogram.

Sep 18, 2018 15:38

BEBL Group Aims To Export Bhutan’s Finest Agro-Products To New Markets Such As The Middle-East

Most of the Bhutanese commodities are absorbed within the Indian market, BEBL feels that the farmers are deprived of their deserving market...

Sep 14, 2018 17:52

Travel

Handicrafts Shops Thrives In Paro Selling Bhutanese Textile, Paintings, Bamboo Products And More

With businesses picking up fast as a result of the tourism boom, the handicraft shops in Paro have even formed a committee with a...

Sep 16, 2018 14:56

Be Awe-Inspired By The ‘Dance Of The Terrifying Gods’ And More At The Thimphu Tshechu Which Starts On 19 Sept

Held from 19 to 21 Sept 2018, the annual Thimphu Tshechu (festival) is a vibrant visual feast for both locals and foreigners.

Sep 12, 2018 20:45

Lifestyle

Miniature Bhutan Creates Amazing Artworks Out Of Pencil Lead And Rice Grains

Miniature Bhutan carves on the lead of pencil tips to make traditional miniature sculptures such as the Buddha, traditional bridges, swords...

Sep 10, 2018 12:44

Bhutan Buy - E-Commerce Platform Seeks To Promote Sale Of Bhutanese Products And Change The Way Bhutanese Shop

Samir Pradhan started Bhutanbuy, an e-commerce company, the first of its kind in Bhutan.

Sep 06, 2018 23:30

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!