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Bhutan: Commerce
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Industry, Mining, Energy, and Commerce > Commerce


Commercial services were projected to generate 7.4 percent of GDP in 1991. Much of Bhutan's commerce revolved around touristoriented hotels and restaurants, and wholesale and retail trade made up the balance. The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry served as a formal conduit between government and private-sector businesses. The chamber was established with government sanction and leadership in 1980, but it made a slow start. In 1984 the first meeting was held between chamber members and heads of government departments, and the Trade Information Centre was established as a unit of the Department of Trade and Commerce to provide trade and commercial information to both the public and private sectors. Despite these initiatives, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry had to be reorganized in 1987; the intent was that the chamber would play a "vital role" in coordinating activities in the government and private sectors and promoting socioeconomic development. The Druk Gyalpo himself criticized the chamber in 1988 for its "extremely poor and disappointing performance" and urged it to take on a greater role in national development and to help build a strong and dynamic economy. Despite these initiatives, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry had only forty members in 1989.

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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