The chamber’s newly elected President Ugen Tshechup is visiting Dzongkhags to create awareness among the business people about services that Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) could deliver.
Being the President of BCCI, he said that the main purpose of the tour was to meet the business community and discuss the issues that were of concern to them.
He added “the objective was to inform the business community that BCCI was their office and we the office bearers were there to serve them.”
The BCCI president has already visited three Dzongkhags of Trongsa, Zhemgang and Sarpang. There are plans to also travel across the country.
During his visit to the Dzongkhags he proposed ideas that BCCI had for development of businesses and the economy in Dzongkhags and gewogs as well.
In his visit to these Dzongkhags he observed that most of the businesses were similar in nature, with small hotels, restaurants and shops that sells general items.
This was seen as a positive sign since it portrayed the scope to grow. “If it had been the other way around where the business had reached saturation point then the way forward would have been much more difficult,” said Ugyen Tshechup.
“What the Government and BCCI can do is increase the livelihood of the rural people. Farmers are the main customers of the businesses. We need to come together and understand how the rural economy grows,” he said.
Therefore, to address the business issues the BCCI will take advantage of their strengths and understand their weaknesses.
The BCCI’s Seventh President elected on 29 February said that they need to look at the total package instead of engaging in agricultural activities, constructing farm roads and provide training, though it’s necessary.
“We should look at tying them all together so that each assistance compliments the other and finally finds the products in a market so that money gets into the hands of the rural people,” he added.
Ugyen Tshechup explained that this in turn would increase the capacity to spend and businesses in the rural areas and small towns will grow bigger.
Therefore he said “coordination meetings should be held between the Government and the BCCI for this purpose, so that we can best utilize the limited resources that we have in the best possible manner.”
The initial plan for the tour was to inform the business community what BCCI intends to do and create awareness that people living in Dzongkhags are interdependent.
“We are promoting the concept of specialization and what makes the most economic sense in Dzongkhags,” he said.
Some of the most important indicators to do business were maximum profits with the utilized time, proximity to market, cost of transportation and demand of the product.
The visits to the Dzongkhags were also to insure that BCCI becomes more transparent and will be able to provide opportunities to all. With this the process of disseminating the information to the opportunities in the BCCI for trainings, funding of businesses and tours would be improved.
“It was also to inform people about the initiatives that are being taken with government for the benefit of the private sector,” said the BCCI President.
Meanwhile during his visits to these Dzongkhags he found some significant issues.
Firstly they found the need to expedite the approval of new townships like expansion plans in Trongsa and re-location of Sarpang.
“Three visited Dzongkhags had a direct benefit from the Hydropower projects that were coming up in Dzongkhags,” he said.
He said that there should be an opportunity for the people of that Dzongkhags to benefit directly in all the avenues that local people were capable of doing.
During the tour business people also conveyed to the BCCI that they were just glad that pedestrian day is observed just once a month and were grateful to BCCI for taking up this matter.
President Ugen Tshechup said that they have just started the journey with the ultimate objective of improving the lives of people through the growth of economy.
“We have taken the first step toward this by going to the Districts and starting to meet the people,” he said.