The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) is determined to carry out its “One District Three Products” (ODTP) initiative across the country. It is part of their nationwide research on the economic resource mapping.
“We are sure that ODTP will break through, provided that relevant stakeholders give the commitment to support,” the Deputy Secretary General of BCCI, Kesang Wangdi, said.
The economic resource mapping (ERM) identifies three products in each district of Bhutan, mainly focused on agriculture and tourism sectors. It identifies the economic activity potential for the twenty districts, which will enhance income-earning capacity and improve the livelihood of people, especially of the rural populace through various economic activities.
The pioneer of ODTP and President, BCCI, Ugen Tshechup Dorji, said BCCI will see that the projects are implemented successfully within his tenure as the President by 2016. ODTP aims to address the import substitution mechanism and the export of domestic products to the regional countries.
The BCCI President also stressed on the importance of partnership between the government and the private sector, where private sector conducts business and the government is responsible in creating an environment that is conducive for doing business.
“What we are doing is fitting into the government objectives and to improve the economic situation,” he added.
Since the start of the project in mid-2014, there have been six pilot projects, which are the cold fishery at Haa, kiwi fruit plantation in Chukha, herbal medicine in Bumthang, warm fishery in Tsirang and piggery in Samtse.
To start the six projects, BCCI helped in preparing the projects and capacity building and linking the Business Opportunity and Information Centre (BOiC) and financial institutions to the projects for financing.
Kesang Wangdi added that a report on the economic resource mapping in the first phase of the initiative is complete. He said the findings of report will be used when meeting with dzongkhag, local government and prominent business members (business takers) in the second phase.
Addressing the prominent challenges in implementing the projects, Kesang Wangdi said since the private lands are not adequate to carry out commercial activities, thereby government land on lease are required. He added that BCCI has proposed to the government to allow the leasing out of government land.
“We are facing lot of challenges in getting the land on lease because of the procedures. It is taking so much time. We cannot take that much time to get clearance,” raising concerns on the need to fast track the leasing out the land, Kesang Wangdi said.
He also shared concerns on the access to finance by business takers, where individuals are not able to come up with promising business ideas. The start of BOiC and streamlining of financial institution credit policy has partly resolved the problem, he added.
Access to market was also considered as the one of the challenges. Kesang Wangdi said he is optimistic of the coming of supply chain creating the linkage from production to marketing of products. The Food Corporation of Bhutan is one of viable relevant stakeholders. There are also interested private individuals who want to be involved in the supply chain, he said.
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