As Bhutan approaches the 112th National Day it is time to take a national and long term view of our current problems.
One of the biggest current issues is an economic slowdown with banks going slow on credit and the private sector in the doldrums.
If we think about it carefully we had a similar albeit more serious episode around six years ago in 2012-2013.
Our periodic economic crises and slowdown shows how dependent we are on few sectors like housing, construction and other essentially import driven consumption -that does not create much jobs or value but leads to a tremendous outflow of rupee.
We should be facing a similar INR crisis like in 2012-13 if not for better reserve management as we have a growing trade gap and current account deficit.
So while we as a country consume and import more, year by year, we are creating very little value within Bhutan that can be exported out.
Our current economic system does not create much jobs and more importantly a future for our youth.
A major reason for the issue is due to the fact that while we have harnessed everything from hydropower to minerals we have not yet touched even the surface of our greatest resource -which is our people and particularly our youth.
For any country to really grow and prosper and become secure it is not about just removing some red tape or doing a few ease of doing business reforms.
It is about creating a well educated and well trained workforce ready to take the jobs of tomorrow. It is about a united sense of national purpose to achieve a common goal and aim.
It is about being strategic in our actions and investing well in our greatest resource and the future of the nation which is our youth.
Bhutan stands at the cusp of a great opportunity and change and our collective future will depend on the steps we take at this moment in history.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”