Bhutan and ADB
In the Spotlight
One of the most urgent tasks facing Bhutan is to raise general living standards. But is the open trade policy needed to grow the economy compatible with the country's gross national happiness guidelines?
ADB has approved loan and grant assistance totaling $36.2 million for the second phase of the Strengthening Economic Management Program. The first phase helped the Government of Bhutan overcome a liquidity crunch and to stabilize the economy in fiscal year 2013.
ADB will provide $120.5 million in loans and grants to build a run-of-the-river 118-megawatt hydropower plant in central Bhutan though a public-private partnership. Clean power generated by the plant will be sold to India and in doing so, will help reduce carbon emissions.
This country brief highlights how ADB operations have helped support Bhutan’s efforts in advancing socioeconomic development.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is endowed with large potential to produce hydropower, with only a small fraction of capacity so far tapped. Over the past few decades, Bhutan has achieved strong economic growth, and, between 2007 and 2012, the country’s poverty levels were almost halved. However, Bhutan’s growth needs to be diversified. Private sector development remains limited, and growth in employment opportunity is sluggish.
Under the country partnership strategy, 2014-2018, ADB will assist the government in achieving self-reliance and inclusive and green socioeconomic development, as well as enhance cooperation with its neighbors.