Organized on 6-7 November 2019 at the Royal Textile Academy, Thimphu, Bhutan, a 2-day workshop on sales and sales kit of handicraft textile products was conducted for Bhutanese handicraft entrepreneurs. The participants learned about pricing, product display, information collection of customers, communication with customers and export management. In the second day, towards the afternoon, a mock session on handicraft textile display during the January 2020 Maison&Objet Paris fair was conducted.
A 2-day workshop was organized on 5-6 November 2019 by the export management experts from the ITC, coordinated and facilitated by the National Project Coordinator in Bhutan. The workshop was attended by public and private sector stakeholders. The workshop covered topics on food safety, standards, certifications and regulations of both exporting and importing countries.
On 2 November 2019 was held the 3rd Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project, at the Royal Textile Academy, Thimphu Bhutan. The meeting was attended by Mr. Ashish Shah, Director, Division of Programme Support, ITC; Mr. Rinchen Wangdi, Director, Gross National Happiness Commission (GHNC), Ms. Smita Singh, Senior Project Manager, Delegation of the EU to India and Bhutan, Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAFs), Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts (APIC), Bhutan Standards Bureau and direct beneficiaries of Output 3 (handicraft textiles). The PSC reviewed the progress made over the period from 1 May 2019 - 30 April 2019 and approved changes on the 2020 workplan, and project beneficiaries and stakeholders presented the activities and results achieved under the project outputs.
A workshop on multilateral trading system with the focus on WTO accession was conducted on 30th September 2019 in collaboration with Ministry of Economic Affairs. The opening session was graced by the United Nations Resident Representative Mr. Gerald Daly and the Officiating Secretary of MoEA Mr. Sonam Tenzin. Participants were trained on the WTO accession process, including reactivation process, the lessons from recent LDC accession countries and the link between WTO accession and LDC graduation.
19 CSOs and private enterprises were trained on costing and pricing of handicraft textile products and the export market perspective of the costing and pricing on 13 August 2019. Participants benefited from training on developing collection plan the following day. The workshop helped them to work out the cost of production for each product, the strategies to reduce the cost, understand the price of similar products in the international market and strategies to meet demand through a well thought collection plan.
From 22 to 25 July 2019, a training on Value Chain Analysis was organized by ITC for 34 participants from Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and six Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).The training aimed to help institutions in conducting and reviewing/validating the Value Chain Analysis undertaken as part of the project. For the enterprises, the training aimed to help in enhancing business competitiveness along the value chain. Participants received hands-on experience in conducting VCA for four products - potato, value added dairy products, yathra and hand woven textiles.
The International Trade Center supported Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation (BEFIT) 2019 by fielding an Investment Expert to participate as a panelist for the session on access to market. ITC will be supporting the resolutions of the BEFIT where relevant.
To promote investment (domestic and FDI) in Bhutan, consultations with government and private sector were carried-out from 15 to 19 July 2019. On the sidelines, a workshop was organized on 18 July 2019 to jointly agree on the framework of Bhutan's investment strategy. The consultations and workshop will help in formulation of Strategy and Action Plan for Promoting Investment in Bhutan.
From 6 to 12 May 2019, and ITC investment expert undertook a mission in Bhutan with the aim to discuss and train FDI officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, conduct Workshop on FDI for all stakeholders, review the methodology for study on the Investment Strategy of Bhutan with the MoEA, meet with key stakeholders for inputs for study on the Investment Strategy of Bhutan, and to meet and discuss the methodology of the study with the National legal firm hired (Garuda legal Services).
A study tour to Laos and Thailand was organized for Bhutanese project beneficiaries from 28 April to 9 May 2019 to exchange and learn from the export experience and production practices of artisans in the South-East Asian region, facing similar constraints and challenges.
Investing in knowledge and skills of women is central to the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project. A two-day workshop was held for 25 direct beneficiaries in the handicraft textile sector on product strategy and brand identity, development of home textile lines, and export quality and supply management. Through experience sharing and hands-on sessions, participants were equipped with knowledge to develop export-oriented handicraft textile products.
Events, including stakeholders meetings and training workshops, in relation to the Output 3 of the project i.e. high-value handicraft textile products, were organized in partnership with the Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Craft (APIC), the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) and handicraft Civil Society Organizations in Bhutan including the Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAOWE), the Handicraft Association of Bhutan (HAB) and Tarayana Foundation.