The State of the Nation Report included cottage and small industries as one of its priority sectors. There are 20,908 cottage and small industries (CSIs) generating 96,177 jobs, and the number has increased by 1,297 in the last year. CSIs have the potential to narrow the gap through economic diversification focused on boosting economic activities in villages and local communities, enhancing rural income and productively engaging our growing young population, states the report.
Paro, Dagana and Trashigang have been identified as the three industrial sites to encourage the youth to start their own ventures and planned CSI establishment. The preparation of a detailed project report for establishment of CSI estate in Tsirang has also been completed.
27 startups were hosted in the newly established Startup Centre and another eight more are in the old service center at Changzamtog. So far, the government has taken certain initiatives to promote cottage and small industries, such as approving Startup and CSIs as a flagship program in the 12th FYP, which is projected to create 4,700 jobs.
Developed priority sector lending application system making it easily accessible to everyone using G2B portal to leverage on the use of information and technology, a handmade handicraft textile has also been selected to facilitate export of horticulture and textile handicraft products through Brand Bhutan, provided opportunities to artisans handicraft producers, and exporters to learn by participating in the international trade exhibitions and study visits abroad and also the government initiated the government-buy-back mechanism where farm shops and Food Corporation of Bhutan will grade and buy produce from the farmers .
Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation (BEFIT) will also be held in July 2019. It is initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in close coordination with the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan for a national event on the theme ‘’Catalyzing Bhutan’s CSI Sector as an Important Driver of Economic Diversification’’.
On 11 April, His Majesty The King granted audience at the Startup Centre, to share words of wisdom and encouragement.