Economy of Bhutan

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Bhutan Map Economy History

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 more than 90% 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. 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 - $2.3 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  38%
industry:  37%
services:  25% (2000 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7% (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 93%, services 5%, industry and commerce 2%
Budget:
revenues: $146 million
expenditures: $152 million (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: 1.856 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  0.05%
hydro:  99.95%
nuclear:  0%
other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 191.1 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 1.55 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 15 million kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs
Exports: $154 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities: cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, electricity (to India), precious stones, spices
Exports - partners: India 94%, Bangladesh
Imports: $269 million (c.i.f., 2000 est.)
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

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Bhutan Map Economy History