Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk and Christina Carlson launch the iGuide
|With the launch of the online
"Investment guide (iGuide) to Bhutan" yesterday, investors -
local and foreign alike - can now access information for setting up
business at the click of a mouse.
The iGuide, however, is to help the government get the right
information closer to potential investors to attract foreign direct
The website (www.theiguides.org/bhutan)
provides a snapshot of all the steps the promoter should follow and
contact information of relevant agencies. The iGuide can be translated
into various languages online.
|Economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk, who
launched the iGuide, said the online platform had come at a time when the
country was ranked low on the global competitiveness index. Bhutan was
ranked 103rd from 147 economies in the global competitiveness report,
2015.However, the minister expressed hope that the iGuide would help
promote good governance and create better environment for business.
"Efforts to create smart business policies are being made by the
government," he said.
Also on the iGuide will be information on taxes, wages, operating costs
and rents that can be inserted into an investor's business model. The
information will be updated as and when there are changes on the
government policies and priorities. The head of investment and policies at
the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Joerg
Weber, reminded the gathering that the iGuide was only a part of the
solution, and that the government had an essential role to play in
identifying and targeting investors and facilitating business
establishment. "This requires a significant investment in terms of
capacity," he said, adding, "The UNCTAD stands ready to
UN resident coordinator, Christina Carlson, said the iGuide would
generate new investments for the economy. "Trade initiatives, such as
this, will play a major role in helping the economy bounce back," she
To get the best of the initiative, Christina Carlson said investment in
infrastructures should be complemented by upgrading the country's human
capital capacity to match its relatively high wages. "Small firms and
cottage industries should be engaged in supplying material for foreign
investors." Though a guide to "Opportunities and Conditions
2013" was published earlier, given the fact that it was in hard copy,
its usage was limited.
Also speaking during the launch was economic affairs joint secretary,
Sonam P Wangdi, who said the iGuide would be yet another milestone in the
country's effort to attract FDI. Although Bhutan has a good FDI policy,
the country has not been able bring enough FDI investments primarily due
to fund constraints.