In order to increase awareness of the private sector, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) as a part of the implementation of the European Union (EU)’s Bhutan Trade Support Project undertook a Nationwide Awareness Raising Programme on Credit Lending Schemes on 19 July in Thimphu.
The awareness program was attended by Chairpersons and Committee Members of Dzongkhag Business Development Committee (DBDC) of Haa, Paro, Tsirang, Dagana, Chukha, Samtse and Thimphu, and representatives of Bhutan Association of Young Entrepreneurs (BAEYul). There were 40 participants.
The program was organized in collaboration with the financial institutions such as Bank of Bhutan, Bhutan National Bank, Bhutan Development Bank Limited, Tashi Bank, Druk PNB Bank Limited, National CSI Development Bank and National Credit Guarantee Scheme Bank.
The press release from the BCCI states that in the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has severely affected the world and the Bhutanese economy was not an exception. The closure of international borders coupled with numerous national lockdowns had a large impact on the private sector especially, small and medium enterprises resulting in a high unemployment rate.
In response to this, the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) has initiated a covid recovery plan to support the private sector in coping with the impact of the pandemic. This plan targets are critical areas of which Credit Lending is one key area, stated the press release.
It states that the objective of this awareness programme is to bring together the private sector and the financial institutions to share information regarding the various lending schemes available and to create accessibility for the private sector to the different options so that they can take an informed decision to choose the most suitable one.
During the program, the financial institutions highlighted aspects about the various lending schemes including the different rates and terms and this platform provided an opportunity to the private sector representatives to pose questions to support their decision making.
Meanwhile, the nationwide program was conducted in three Dzongkhags with participation by various private sectors. In Punakha, the program was organized on 12 July which was attended by Chairpersons and Committee Members of DBDC of Sarpang, Trongsa, Zhemgang, Gasa, Wangduephodrang and Punakha. There were 38 participants in total.
Similarly, in Bumthang, the program was organized on 15July 2022 and was attended by Chairpersons and Committee Members of DBDC of Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Lhuentse, Mongar, Pemagatshel, Samdrupjongkhar and Bumthang. There were 48 participants in total.
While the EU–Bhutan Trade Support Project implemented by the ITC in collaboration with Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and APIC complements economic diversification, which is a priority of the RGoB, by improving the national trade and investment regulatory framework, and increase exports of horticulture products and textile handicrafts.
It states that the project supports the trade and investment policy priorities of the RGoB and contributes to bringing the voice of the private sector to trade policy making. The focus is on improving the capacity of the relevant public and private institutions, to formulate and implement trade policy and investment promotion. The output further recognizes the critical importance of reliable and timely access to trade information and access to finance as a part of the post covid economic recovery plan.