Bhutan Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Bhutan Economy

Bhutan Economy: A summary of information about Bhutan Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Bhutan: Economy

Economy - overview
The economy, one of the world's smallest and least
developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the
main livelihood for 90% of the population and account for about 40% of
GDP. Agriculture consists largely of subsistence farming and animal
husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building
of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. The economy
is closely aligned with India's through strong trade and monetary
links. The industrial sector is technologically backward, with most
production of the cottage industry type. Most development projects,
such as road construction, rely on Indian migrant labor. Bhutan's
hydropower potential and its attraction for tourists are key
resources. The Bhutanese Government has made some progress in
expanding the nation's productive base and improving social welfare.
Model education, social, and environment programs in Bhutan are
underway with support from multilateral development organizations.
Each economic program takes into account the government's desire to
protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. Detailed
controls and uncertain policies in areas like industrial licensing,
trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $2.1 billion (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
7% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $1,060 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 38%
industry: 37%
services: 25% (1998)
Population below poverty line
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
9% (1998)
Labor force
NA
note: massive lack of skilled labor
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture 93%, services 5%, industry
and commerce 2%
Unemployment rate
NA%
Budget
revenues: $146 million
expenditures: $152 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
(FY95/96 est.)
note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's
budget expenditures
Industries
cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic
beverages, calcium carbide
Industrial production growth rate
9.3% (1996 est.)
Electricity - production
1.788 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 0.39%
hydro: 99.61%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
345 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
1.339 billion kWh
note: exports electricity to India (1998)
Electricity - imports
21 million kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains;
dairy products, eggs
Exports
$111 million (f.o.b., 1998)
Exports - commodities
cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement,
fruit, electricity (to India), precious stones, spices
Exports - partners
India 94%, Bangladesh
Imports
$136 million (c.i.f., 1998)
Imports - commodities
fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery and
parts, vehicles, fabrics, rice
Imports - partners
India 77%, Japan, UK, Germany, US
Debt - external
$120 million (1998)
Economic aid - recipient
$73.8 million (1995)
Currency
1 ngultrum (Nu) = 100 chetrum; note - Indian currency is
also legal tender
Exchange rates
ngultrum (Nu) per US$1 - 43.552 (January 2000), 43.055
(1999), 41.259 (1998), 36.313 (1997), 35.433 (1996), 32.427 (1995);
note - the Bhutanese ngultrum is at par with the Indian rupee
Fiscal year
1 July - 30 June
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