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Bhutan Main Page

 

  Economy

In spite of the fact tourism brings in the largest supply of foreign exchange, the Bhutan government has restricted visitors in an effort to preserve the traditions and culture of the country.  The country was rated one of the least developed nations in the world by the United Nations.  Most Bhutanese are employed in agriculture or related fields.  Most of the agriculture in Bhutan is cultivated simply to meet the needs of the country.  Unfortunately, as Bhutan's culture and traditions are kept in tact, so are their farming practices which consists of hard, physical labor.

The economy, one of the world's smallest and least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than 60% of the population. 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 and dependence on India's financial assistance. 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. Model education, social, and environment programs 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. For example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists. Complicated controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment. Hydropower exports to India have boosted Bhutan's overall growth. New hydropower projects will be the driving force behind Bhutan's ability to create employment and sustain growth in the coming years.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$3.526 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
$3.301 billion (2009 est.)
$3.123 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.397 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
5.7% (2009 est.)
2.7% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,000 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
$4,800 (2009 est.)
$4,600 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.6%
industry: 45%
services: 37.4% (2006)
Labor force:
299,900
country comparison to the world: 164
note: major shortage of skilled labor (2008)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 63%
industry: 6%
services: 31% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 36
2.5% (2004)
Population below poverty line:
23.2% (2008)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 37.6% (2003)
Public debt:
57.8% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 40
81.4% of GDP (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
4.9% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
NA%
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
NA% (31 December 2009 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$335 million (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 164
$381.1 million (31 December 2007)
Stock of broad money:
$NA (31 December 2009)
$647.6 million (31 December 2008)
Stock of domestic credit:
$NA (31 December 2008)
$169.9 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA
Agriculture - products:
rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs
Industries:
cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity - production:
1.48 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Electricity - consumption:
184 million kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 178
Electricity - exports:
1.296 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2009 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
Oil - consumption:
1,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 190
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140
Oil - imports:
1,250 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 183
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
Current account balance:
$164 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
$116 million (2007 est.)
Exports:
$513 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 166
$350 million (2006)
Exports - commodities:
electricity (to India), ferrosilicon, cement, calcium carbide, copper wire, manganese, vegetable oil
Exports - partners:
India 86.3%, Bangladesh 8.1%, Italy 1.5% (2008)
Imports:
$533 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 187
$320 million (2006)
Imports - commodities:
fuel and lubricants, passenger cars, machinery and parts, fabrics, rice (2008)
Imports - partners:
India 63%, Japan 12.3%, China 5.1% (2008)
Debt - external:
$836 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 152
$713.3 million (2006)
Exchange rates:
ngultrum (BTN) per US dollar - 46.6 (2009), 41.487 (2007), 45.279 (2006), 44.101 (2005), 45.317 (2004)
note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee

 

 


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