Country Listing

Bhutan Table of Contents


Industry, Mining, Energy, and Commerce


Only 1 percent or less of the work force was involved in industry and construction in the late 1980s, and industrial production and construction represented only 14.2 percent of GDP projected for 1991. Handicrafts, cement, food processing, wood milling, and distilling were the major industries. In the late 1980s, there about 400 small-scale cottage and industrial units. There also were two cement plants under the Penden Cement Authority; a joint venture (the government-sponsored Tashi Commercial Corporation in conjunction with the World Bank, Norway, and Kuwait), a Bhutan Carbide and Chemicals calcium carbide plant (near Phuntsholing), and factories for processing fruit, for manufacturing paper pulp, wood veneers, and particle board (Gedu Wood Manufacturing Corporation and Bhutan Board Products), and for producing resin and turpentine. Additionally, there were three distilleries and a salt iodization plant. Other small industrial enterprises manufactured such consumer goods as soap, confectionaries, and furniture. Most of the larger industries, established since Bhutan's economic modernization began in the 1960s, were themselves modern and used a considerable amount of labor-saving technology. The largest industries employed no more than sixty or seventy workers. Many of the newly developing industries began making public stock offerings in the late 1980s.

Data as of September 1991