Bhutan Thematic Expo markets local products and producers

The 65 stalls set up at the Bhutan Thematic Expo in Changlimithang, Thimphu lightened up the mood for the exhibitors taking part in the expo as it came free of cost.

This was made possible with the financial support from the Bhutan Chamber for Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives (DAMC).

According to the President of BCCI, Tandy Wangchuk, the main objective of the thematic expo aimed at encouraging the youth engaged in agriculture and horticulture works.

He expressed his gratitude to all participants and exhibitors, emphasizing the expo’s role in promoting trade, commerce, and investment in Bhutan. He highlighted the BCCI’s efforts to facilitate networking opportunities and creating a conducive environment for business growth.

It is also aimed at promoting the local products to the market, and to look at ways to enhance the supply chain so there is enough quantity for export purposes. 4 new local products were launched during the expo.

However, exporting the goods from Bhutan to countries aboard is challenging, in terms of certification and standardization processes.

BCCI has sent samples of 110 items to labs in Kolkata, India for certification, but many of the products got recommendations in terms of betterment of packaging and labeling. Accordingly, BCCI has been providing the funds and also looking for further certification.

Tandy Wangchuk further stated there are financial challenges, in terms of certification, as it is very expensive to get the products certified for the promoters. Bhutanese products have to improve and upgrade the packaging and labeling, as pointed out in an initial pilot project that was supported by the Embassy of India and BCCI, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The certified Bhutanese products must be bought by traders in India that involved in the imports of goods from Bhutan, and since the traders trade in huge volumes, it is hard to meet the demands.

BCCI has accordingly requested the entrepreneurs to enhance their production as the validity of the certification is for just a year. Similarly, to promote the agriculture and indigenous products, BCCI is in discussion with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), for outsourcing the funds, as many of the businesses do not have access to finance, and many banks in Bhutan are collateral based loan providers, the entrepreneurs are mainly facing these challenges to initially start their business.

Once BCCI and UNDP signs the MoU, they will outsource the fund from their development partners. So, once the funds are outsourced, they will have a Standard of Operation (SOP) in place, and they will be able to finance the entrepreneurs in promoting their local products.

“BCCI really wants to encourage, firstly on the food security and self-sustainability, at the same time to export and earn hard currency. Also, under this program, BCCI will be giving awareness to the farmers and even supply them with the seeds. The traders will be directly involved, which means the business owners have to produce the product based on the demand of the markets,” said BCCI.

The expo was inaugurated the Secretary, Ministry of Industry Commerce & Employment, Tashi Wangmo, on 22 June 2023. The event brought together 61 participants.

Check Also

Inflation up in February 2024

As the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.12 percent increase, the purchasing power of …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *