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Bhutan Economy 2008

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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 60% 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 and dependence on India's financial assistance. 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. Model education, social, and environment programs 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. For example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists. Detailed controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment. Hydropower exports to India drove GDP growth to over 20% in 2007

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$3.503 billion (2006 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$840.5 million (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
8.8% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,400 (2003 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 24.7%
industry: 37.2%
services: 38.1% (2005)

Labor force:
note: major shortage of skilled labor

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 63%
industry: 6%
services: 31% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate:
2.5% (2004)

Population below poverty line:
31.7% (2003)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.5% (2005 est.)

revenues: $272 million
expenditures: $350 million
note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's budget expenditures (2005)

Public debt:
81.4% of GDP (2004)

Agriculture - products:
rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs

cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:
9.3% (1996 est.)

Electricity - production:
2 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - consumption:
380 million kWh (2005)

Electricity - exports:
1.5 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports:
20 million kWh (2005)

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - consumption:
1,200 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - imports:
1,138 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)

natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)

natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

$350 million f.o.b. (2006)

Exports - commodities:
electricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, precious stones, spices

Exports - partners:
India 54.5%, Hong Kong 34.6%, Bangladesh 6.9% (2006)

$320 million c.i.f. (2006)

Imports - partners:
India 76%, Japan 5.5%, Germany 3.2% (2006)

Economic aid - recipient:
$90.02 million; note - substantial aid from India (2005)

Debt - external:
$593 million (2004)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Currency (code):
ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)

Exchange rates:
ngultrum per US dollar - NA (2007), 45.279 (2006), 44.101 (2005), 45.317 (2004), 46.583 (2003)
note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee

Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June

NOTE: The information regarding Bhutan on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bhutan Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bhutan Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.

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This page was last modified 24-May-08
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