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Bhutan is a small country nestled between India and China. Formerly isolated, Bhutan opened to foreigners in the 1970s. Bhutan is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). The country is also in the process of joining the WTO. Bhutan’s currency is the ngultrum (Nu), which is pegged to the Indian rupee.

Bhutan transitioned into a constitutional monarchy in 2008, electing the country’s first Prime Minister, Jigme Thinley. The Bhutanese monarchy has continued to promote “Gross National Happiness” as an important metric, which is indicative of a commitment to economic and spiritual development.

Bhutan’s economy is focused in agriculture, which constitutes nearly a third of GDP and which nearly 70% of the population rely on for their livelihood. The country’s close ties with India and Bangladesh have had a positive impact on the economy. India remains a key diplomatic and economic...


National Happiness Asian Development Bank Hydropower Project Strategic Interest Public Limited Company 
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© Asia Briefing Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asia Briefing Ltd.
    • 1
  1. 1.KowloonHong Kong SAR

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