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Bhutan: Foreign Debt
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Foreign Economic Relations > Foreign Debt


At the start of the 1980s, Bhutan's external debt was small, but as the decade progressed it increased significantly. Whereas it stood at US$2.7 million in 1984, the debt jumped to US$21 million in 1985 and reached US$70.1 million in 1989. Although efforts have been made to reduce dependence on foreign aid inputs, an increasing amount of aid, other than that received from India, has been in the form of loans rather than outright grants. Whereas Bhutan had no foreign debt outside of India in the early 1980s, by the mid-to- late 1980s, loans -- primarily from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank -- comprised 30 percent of foreign assistance and represented about 17 percent of its GDP.

Data as of September 1991

Last Updated: September 1991

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Bhutan was first published in 1991. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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