European Union External Action

A game-changer for the Bhutanese business community

Brussels, 09/11/2020 - 10:14, UNIQUE ID: 201109_3
Press releases

The Bhutan Information Portal, a new resource for Bhutanese entrepreneurs, was launched today.

H.E. Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs, H.E. Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan, and Ms. Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, inaugurated the portal.

The portal is a result of collaboration between the Department of Trade of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Bhutan, the International Trade Centre and the European Union, under the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

The EU-Bhutan Trade Support project aims to diversify exports by improving the national trade and investment regulatory framework, and increase exports of horticulture products and textile handicrafts from Bhutan.

H.E Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs speaking on the occasion said, “Unclear domestic trade regulation has always been one of the major obstacles to the development of international trade and investment. I am confident that this portal will promote clarity and transparency of our policies and procedures to help ensure a stable, low-risk environment for trade and investment, and also contribute to the improvement of the business climate in Bhutan.”

Welcoming the launch of the portal, H.E. Mr. Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan said, “I am glad that the EU could contribute to creating an enabling environment for trade expansion and diversification in Bhutan. We hope that this online tool will prove useful not only for Bhutanese enterprises to explore business opportunities abroad but also for foreign investors to establish links with Bhutanese companies.”

Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director, International Trade Centre, explained that, “The Bhutan Trade Information Portal is for the benefit of the private sector and especially the MSMEs. It will provide valuable trade and market intelligence for Bhutanese entrepreneurs and exporters to expand into new markets, while also supporting them to prepare for a post-Covid recovery.”

The Bhutan Trade Information Portal will serve as a repository of information for local and foreign entrepreneurs seeking products and companies from Bhutan. It is expected to ease the flow of information, boost domestic and international trade and empower decision makers in taking appropriate policy decisions.

The portal will provide entrepreneurs instant access to essential and strategic trade information needed to secure deals in the international markets. This one-stop shop will serve as a gateway to credible information resources and updated trade databases.

With the launch of this electronic platform, businesses will be able to stay updated with the latest trade regulations including trade agreements, export procedures and market access requirements that have to be met for engaging in international trade. Entrepreneurs will also have an opportunity to carry-out marketing research and innovate their products. With contact details of potential buyers and of local export-related service providers now just a click away, the portal will also help expand business networks.

Links to pertinent sources of information on market analysis, entrepreneurship and internationalization are also available on the portal. The portal is accessible here:

The Bhutan Trade Information Portal was designed and launched with financial support from the European Union through the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project, which is implemented by the International Trade Centre.

Note for the Editor

About the EU Bhutan Trade Project

Implemented by the International Trade Centre, the project aims to diversify exports by improving the national trade and investment regulatory framework, and increase exports of horticulture products and textile handicrafts from Bhutan.

For more information:

About the Ministry of Economic Affairs

The Ministry’s core function is to create a green and self-reliant economy sustained by an IT enabled knowledge society guided by the philosophy of GNH (Gross National Happiness). The Ministry’s focus is also to enhance economic growth through economic diversification, including hydropower development, strengthening export and creating an enabling environment, including institutions and infrastructure for the sustainable growth of the economy through public & private sector development.

About ITC

ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development. For more information, visit Follow ITC on Twitter: @ITCnews.

About the European Union (EU)

The EU, which consists of 27 countries, has the world's largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions so that decisions on matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of policies on sustainability.

EU-Bhutan relations

The EU has had a very strong presence in Bhutan since 1982. It works closely with Bhutan to reduce

poverty, enhance food security and strengthen the democratisation process.





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