ADB Country Director Kanokpan Lao-Araya explains how ADB works with Bhutan to support its development and its unique goal of gross national happiness
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Bhutan, a country on its way to the next level of development.
ADB is supporting its goal of green and sustainable development, and its unique vision of gross national happiness.
Kanokpan Lao Araya, Country Director, ADB Bhutan Resident Mission
"Right now, the country is on a crossroad of transition. In the past few decades, the country has developed so fast and so well and now, the country has to find ways to diversify the economy. Given that the country is small in size, and it’s a land locked country, we need to help the government to diversify the economy, an enabling environment to allow the private sector to participate, and help the country prosper and contribute to the well-being of their citizens. That includes laying out better infrastructure and well-planned urbanization, and also in terms of social sector, we have to help promote technical and vocational jobs for the unemployed youth.
"Right now, our investment focuses a lot on infrastructure, because those are very critical and the foundation for development, including hydropower, which is a renewable energy and generate high income revenue for the government. Also, road connectivity to neighboring countries, in terms of roads, in terms of information and technology and trade.
"My vision is to see the country realize green development goals, that are sustainable, inclusive and resilient. And it is very interesting that the country not only measure the progress by economic aspect, but the country introduces the gross national happiness index and we are proud to be part of that journey, to achieve the next level of development."