Economic development board and FDI policy review committee get to work

The formation of Economic Development Board (EDB) leaded by the Prime Minister will consist of key members including the Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Employment, the Secretaries of Ministry Energy and Natural Resources, and Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Employment, the President of the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, two international experts, two local experts, and the Director of the Office of Cabinet Affairs and Strategic Coordination in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

EDB’s core focus will be expediting business establishment processes and attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), while also fostering more effective collaborations between the government and the private sector as per their pledges.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Employment (MoICE) will serve as the Secretariat for the EDB.

The specific responsibilities and objectives of EDB will be finalized during its inaugural meeting, which is scheduled to take place within a month of the executive order issued.

The establishment of the FDI Policy Committee, under the chairmanship MoICE have the formation a committee comprising of twelve members, which includes key members, such as the Secretary of  MoICE, the Director General of the Department of Revenue and Customs under the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Director General of the Department of School Education under the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, the Director General for Department of Agricultural Marketing and Cooperatives under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Director General of Department of Industry under MOICE, the Director of Department of Geology and Mines under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR), the Director of Department of Energy under the MoENR, the Director of Department of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Director of Department of Health Services under Ministry of Health, the Deputy Governor of Royal Monetary Authority, the President of Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and the President of Association of Bhutanese Industries.

The collective body has been convened to conduct a comprehensive review of the FDI policy in accordance with governmental mandates.

Acknowledging the significant role that FDI plays in driving economic growth and ensuring the sustainability of our small nation, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)  committed to a substantial increase in FDI inflows in their party manifesto. PDP aims to elevate the current figure of Nu 43 billion to Nu 500 billion over the course of the next five years.

Additionally, another Executive Order was enacted to establish a high-level task force responsible for formulating the implementation plan for the Nu 15 billion Economic Stimulus Plan.

As per the PDP pledges, the Nu 15 billion Economic Stimulus Plan will be established and execute programs initiated by the EDB.

EDB shall also entrusted with the mandate to ensure achievement of the Nu 500 billion FDI target as per their pledges. The establishment of a high-powered and dynamic EDB fulfills a pledge made by PDP. The plans are to be submitted to the Government by 1 March 2024.

Upon assuming office, the Prime Minister issued 4 executive orders and 9 directives aimed at accelerating implementation processes. Among these directives, an Executive Order was issued for the establishment of EDB, with its inaugural meeting scheduled to convene within a month.

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