Business and Regulatory Environment


The latest World Bank Doing Business Report (2013) ranked Bhutan 141st out of 189 economies. Bhutan is one of the poorest performers within the South Asia region  – with an average ranking of 121st. Among the 10 categories, Bhutan performs relatively better in enforcing contracts, starting a business and registering property whereas resolving insolvency, and protecting investors are not favourable. While the private sector is portrayed as the engine of growth in Bhutan, it remains small and underdeveloped except for a few corporations. Corporatized state-owned enterprises are the biggest businesses in the country, and dominate fields including power generation and distribution, postal services, airlines, banking and television. In order to encourage starting a business, several policies and laws have been initiated since 2012 such as the Enterprise Registration Act and the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Policy. By doing so, Bhutan eased the process of starting a business by making its criminal records search electronic, making the rubber company stamps available on the local market, and reducing the time required to obtain the security clearance certificate. Moreover, Bhutan has significantly improved in the rankings of access to credit. This is a result of implementing reforms such as to set forth a regulation governing the licensing and functioning of the credit bureau and guaranteeing borrowers’ right to access their data; and to launch the operation of a public credit bureau (World Bank 2014). Despite these reforms, however, Bhutan’s performance is still lower than other South Asian countries such as the Maldives (95th) and Nepal (105th). These countries have undertaken more extensive reforms, and at a faster rate, than Bhutan, thereby further increasing their gains in efficiency and competitiveness (UNDP 2012).

The Business Environment: Doing Business

Multilateral Trade Instruments


The Trade Treaties Map tool is a web-based system on multilateral trade treaties and instruments designed to assist trade support institutions (TSIs) and policymakers in optimizing their country's legal framework on international trade

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