Strengthening Ties with the Private Sector in Bhutan

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Delegates from the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), a private sector body comprising of members from the Bhutanese business community, visited the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) headquarters in Kathmandu on 30 August 2017.

The visit was the first BCCI exposure trip organized outside Bhutan. It followed the June 2017 signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BCCI and ICIMOD. The MoU was a commitment to strengthening private sector engagement in Bhutan through collaborative action in relation to ongoing BCCI and ICIMOD activities. 

ICIMOD is committed to collaborating with private sector bodies in the Hindu Kush Himalaya to ensure sustainable development in the region. The delegation of more than 40 Bhutanese dzongkhag (district) representatives was headed by BCCI Secretary General Phub Tshering.

BCCI representatives at ICIMOD
Photo Credit: Utsav Maden/ICIMOD

Basanta Shrestha, Director Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD, welcomed the delegates. In his remarks, Shrestha stressed on the importance of fostering close collaborations with various businesses in Bhutan to upscale and improve the livelihoods of mountain people. BCCI Secretary General Tshering said that the BCCI and ICIMOD can work together to strengthen sustainable business opportunities and improve livelihoods in Bhutan. He said, “BCCI is confident that ICIMOD is the perfect partner for us. It will help us gain technical knowledge on value chains and market linkages, capacity building for mountain communities, and enterprise development for agro-based small- and medium-scale enterprises.” 

Tshering emphasized that the partnership with ICIMOD would help Bhutan create business leaders who are agents for change in the future. Following the remarks, BCCI delegates had an insightful interaction session with ICIMOD colleagues working with various initiatives where they learned about the various ICIMOD activities in Bhutan. The session provided the delegates an opportunity to understand and explore the areas for future collaboration with ICIMOD. 

Phub Tshering, Secretary General of BCCI, speaking to BCCI and ICIMOD representatives
Photo Credit: Utsav Maden/ICIMOD

As part of their business exposure visit, the BCCI delegates also visited the ICIMOD Knowledge Park in Godavari to learn about innovative technologies, mountain farming, and other practices that useful for sustainable development.