The Department of Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), Royal Government of Bhutan in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), launched the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update (DTISU) 2020 on July 6, 2021 in Thimphu. Hon’ble Tengye Lyonpo Loknath Sharma and UNDP Bhutan Resident Representative Azusa Kubota launched the study with the Executive Director of the EIF Dr. Ratnakar Adhikari, joining the event virtually from Geneva, Switzerland.
The EIF National Implementation Unit under the Department of Trade, MoEA in partnership with UNDP Bhutan who supported as the main Implementing Entity, undertook the DTISU in 2020 with financial and technical support from EIF. Bhutan published its first DTIS in 2012 and it has been an important guiding document for trade-related interventions.
The DTISU 2020 reviews Bhutan’s economic progress since the first DTIS. It assesses the implementation of earlier recommendations, identifies challenges encountered since the last study and considers the new economic landscape. The DTISU also builds on plans and strategies adopted by the Royal Government in recent years and takes into account Bhutan’s transition from LDC category. It provides a clear analysis of the new priorities and challenges ahead for the revival and growth of the Bhutanese economy in the face of the pandemic.
The report highlights the instrumental role of trade facilitation and trade agreements in creating favorable trading environment, with clear insights into Bhutan’s trade competitiveness factors. It also examines implications of the country’s impending transition to a middle-income country and the impacts of the pandemic on the economy.