References | Asia & Pacific

Export Business Intensification Program for the Bhutan SME Sector


Agriculture, Market Development, Natural Resource Management

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The SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) in collaboration with Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Royal Government of Bhutan proposed to undertake an Export Intensification Program to the United States in order to identify the export market and exposed the Bhutanese economy to the multilateral trading system. The specific objectives of the program were:

  • To identify an appropriate number of Bhutanese products/sectors with high export, joint venture/investment potential for collaboration with entrepreneurs from North America and for export to other countries.
  • To identify producers/manufacturers in Bhutan who have the prerequisites for producing goods for export.
  • To study the market in terms of size and segmentation with respect to the selected products/sectors.
  • To identify opportunities for joint ventures/foreign investments and transfer of plant and equipment and other collaborative arrangements.
  • To promote distinct trade between Bhutan suppliers/ manufacturers and North American buyers.
  • To assist the Ministry of Trade and Industry in promoting Bhutan as a suitable niche manufacturing/investment location in the international community.

In order to achieve the objectives of the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Export Intensification Program was conducted in five phases, as follow:

Phase-1: Desk research and export sector capability study.

Phase-2: In-depth market investigation in North America including identification of opportunities for niche manufacturing, joint ventures/ foreign investments; the transfer of plant and equipment and exports of selected products to third countries.

Phase-3: Development of profiles/proposals for the investment, manufacturer and marketing of the products/ sectors identified. Advice will also be provided in respect of packaging, marketing, and product development (by consultants and counterpart officer).

Phase-4: Contact promotion (investment) mission to the target market (identified in Phase 2) to discuss possible sales, joint venture/investment, manufacture and marketing. The mission will include at least 15 Bhutanese industry representatives.

Phase-5: A systematic follow-up of trade contacts, enquiries and export-based investment/joint venture possibilities by the Ministry of Trade & Industry with some assistance from the consultants.

The major requirements of this program were to:

  • Identify opportunities in extra-regional market(s) based on the resource
  • capabilities of Bhutan in terms of markets and joint ventures.
  • Evaluate these opportunities in commercial/financial terms.
  • Package the appropriate opportunities for selling to the target market.
  • Identify the target groups that would be most responsive to the
  • Opportunities presented, and
  • Organize and manage a bridge between the targeted market(s) and
  • Bhutanese entrepreneurs.