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Land of the thunder dragon is on the move. Bhutan.

  • Molitor, C
Published Article
Integration (Tokyo, Japan)
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1992
PMID: 12343898


A small and landlocked country in the Himalayas, the size of Switzerland, Bhutan or Druk Yul, Land of the Thunder Dragon, had for centuries been isolated from the outside world. Finally, its tradition-bound people are beginning to pick up new trades and vocations. Penjore Timber Industries & Exports Ltd. is one of the 1st modern wood-processing complexes in Bhutan still with a predominantly subsistence and barter agriculture economy. The company, set up with the financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is producing broomsticks, handles for tools, wooden doors, and window frames mainly for export. The industrial sector is small and accounts for only 4% of GDP. Most of the 125 private enterprises in the country are small. A development bank, the Bhutan Development Finance Corporation (BDFC), was established in 1988 with ADB support for the development of private industry. A general education system was established and schools were opened only in the early 1960s. The government had given the development of trained manpower high priority in its 5th Economic and Social Development Plan (FY 1981/82-FY 1986/87). The Royal Institute of Management (RIM) was established in 1986. About 40 trainees each in secretarial, accounting, and basic management training programs and 150 managerial personnel from public and private agencies are trained each year by RIM which the ADB supports under the Second Multiproject Loan to Bhutan with cofinancing by the Norwegian Development Agency. So far RIM has designed 12 different training courses, 92 students graduated in 1989, and by 1995 about 30 training courses are envisioned. According to 1987 data in a recent UN report Bhutan is the only one of the world's 42 least-developed countries with a more than 10% agricultural production growth rate where real GDP growth has outspaced population growth.

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