Infrastructure

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2013) ranked Bhutan 47th out of 148 countries. Bhutan's high quality of electricity supply, ranked 35rd, contributed to enhancing its overall competitiveness. It is located from 100 to 7,550 meters above the sea level and obtains 500 to 5,000 millimetres of rain annually. This geography feature grants to Bhutan abundant hydropower to generate electricity. Additionally, substantial amounts of Indian investment - a mixture of grants and loans - in hydropower plants, rural electrification, and the possibilities of selling electricity helped developing hydroelectricity. By the year 2020, Bhutan aims to develop new hydropower projects that would result in a combined power capacity of 10,000 MW - seven times the current capacity.  However, as a landlocked country, Bhutan lags in the quality of port infrastructure. It has relied on maritime trade via Kolkata port in India, and Chittagong and Mongla ports in Bangladesh. The political or economic circumstances of these countries often influence Bhutanese exports and imports. Moreover, the banking sector, which was ranked 123rd out of 148 countries by the same report, is dominated by state-owned commercial banks and at the time of writing, closed to new investment. It has undergone some reform in recent years. In Bhutan, banking has been earmarked as a high-end service with the potential for development through FDI, although there are restrictions due to the currently lacking FDI policy. The Financial Services Act of 2011 and associated regulations aimed to better regulate the activities of various financial service providers, including non-bank financial institutions. Significant investments in financial sector infrastructure occurred over the last three years. Among others, the use of electronic payments in commercial banks is more widespread and a fully functional Credit Information Bureau (public registry bureau) is now in place (World Bank 2013). However, future financial liberalization should be tempered by the need to improve supervision and regulation. 

Indicator Value Rank/148
Quality of overall infrastructure How would you assess general infrastructure (e.g., transport, telephony, and energy) in your country? [1 = extremely underdeveloped—among the worst in the world; 7 = extensive and efficient—among the best in the world] | 2012–13 weighted average. 2.95 109
Quality of roads How would you assess roads in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 4.30 52
Quality of railroad infrastructure How would you assess the railroad system in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. n/a n/a
Quality of port infrastructure How would you assess port facilities in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = well-developed and efficient by international standards). For landlocked countries, this measures the ease of access to port facilities and inland waterways | 2010, 2011. 2.23 136
Quality of air transport infrastructure How would you assess passenger air transport infrastructure in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 3.47 107
Individuals using Internet (%) Internet users are people with access to the worldwide network. 75.61 111
Mobile telephone subscriptions/100 pop According to the World Bank, mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to switched telephone technology. Postpaid and prepaid subscriptions are included. This can also include analogue and digital cellular systems but should not include non-cellular systems. Subscribers to fixed wireless, public mobile data services, or radio paging services are not included. 25.43 93
Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions/100 pop: The International Telecommunication Union considers broadband to be any dedicated connection to the Internet of 256 kilobits per second or faster, in both directions. Broadband subscribers refers to the sum of DSL, cable modem and other broadband (for example, fiber optic, fixed wireless, apartment LANs, satellite connections) subscribers. 2.26 86