Country Listing

Bhutan Table of Contents

Bhutan

Commerce

Commercial services were projected to generate 7.4 percent of GDP in 1991. Much of Bhutan's commerce revolved around touristoriented hotels and restaurants, and wholesale and retail trade made up the balance. The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry served as a formal conduit between government and private-sector businesses. The chamber was established with government sanction and leadership in 1980, but it made a slow start. In 1984 the first meeting was held between chamber members and heads of government departments, and the Trade Information Centre was established as a unit of the Department of Trade and Commerce to provide trade and commercial information to both the public and private sectors. Despite these initiatives, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry had to be reorganized in 1987; the intent was that the chamber would play a "vital role" in coordinating activities in the government and private sectors and promoting socioeconomic development. The Druk Gyalpo himself criticized the chamber in 1988 for its "extremely poor and disappointing performance" and urged it to take on a greater role in national development and to help build a strong and dynamic economy. Despite these initiatives, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry had only forty members in 1989.

Data as of September 1991