President’s Milestones – II

President’s Achievement Highlights

As we conclude yet another year, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, under the selfless engagement and leadership of its President, Mr. Tandy Wangchuk, has actively involved in supplementing & augmenting the efforts of the Royal Government in containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Activity reports dedicated to this engagement have already been shared through quarterly reports and the official webpage for its members to be informed about.


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the Bhutanese economy, disrupting businesses and affecting livelihoods across diverse sectors. In response, the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), as strongly advocated by its President, has undertaken a comprehensive initiative to gather and package the aspirations of the private sector for economic revival. These documents identified critical challenges and presented the key recommendations developed through an inclusive process, engaging all relevant segments of the economy. The BCCI believes these proposals, if implemented proactively, will accelerate economic recovery and pave the way for sustainable growth. The proposals emphasized broadly on stimulating demand, supporting businesses, fostering innovation & entrepreneurship and building sustainability & resilience.


During the television talks, the President has stressed that the road to economic recovery required a collaborative effort between the government, the private sector, and civil society. He highlighted that the recommendations packaged is based on the collective voice of the Bhutanese business community targeted towards providing a valuable roadmap for stimulating growth, creating jobs, and building a more prosperous and resilient Bhutan.


Mr. Tandy Wangchuk has also been actively providing private sector feedbacks and insights on the Policies, rules and regulations to the review team formed under the Civil Service transformation move of the government. Encouraged by the transformation exercise of the government, the BCCI too initiated a transformation exercise with an objective to strengthen the role of the Chamber as a key stakeholder in Bhutan’s economic development. It involved development of new BCCI Secretariat Organogram, repositioning of the current Head Office employees and merger of Departments. Albeit staff attrition of over 50%, the BCCI has developed in-house documents like the, BCCI Strategic Plan, HR Master Plan and Performance Management System, which provided a roadmap for the BCCI in terms of its focus and direction.

Policy Advocacy

The BCCI, under the vigilant guidance of President, has been able to advocate for notable policy and regulatory changes that positively impacted the private sector. One such positive transformation is the extension of the Fixed Equated Instalment Facility (FEIF) account from 5 years to 10 years. The BCCI members expressed concerns about the classification of Business Risk Categorization into high, medium, and low categories suggesting that all businesses have been impacted and should be treated at a single category and to consider the loan deferment for another 5 years. The former Prime Minister noted this in the Last-Monthly Last Friday meet that the deferral of EMI payment for three years, as agreed by the central bank should be reviewed or reconsidered based on the market performance.

Social Responsibility

As a part of the Chamber’s corporate social responsibility, Mr. Tandy Wangchuk and the BCCI have been facilitating in providing Canadian biometric services for the Bhutanese in Thimphu. Prior to this service, the Bhutanese youth were required to travel to New Delhi to complete their biometric procedures. This service has benefited the Bhutanese in terms of resource savings - time as well as money.

Tourism & SDF

BCCI also played a pivotal role in the current SDF revision through various dialogue and consultations with the government. BCCI provided insight and recommendation for the benefit of the tourism and hospitality sector, which were taken into consideration during the revision process. Eventually, the SDF has been revised to USD 100 per day per person for the international tourists.

Network & Linkages

BCCI today has MoU with 15 chambers of commerce/trade bodies. In the fiscal year 2022-2023 the BCCI signed MoU with KOTRA on 19th May 2023 to foster bilateral trade and economic cooperation and Council for promotion of Trade and Industry (CPTI) on 3rd September 2022 to build trade relations. The BCCI also signed MoU with Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce (SACC) and Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCIG) with the aim to further strengthening business-to-business ties and facilitate trade and investment between the two countries. During the visit of the President to Thailand, BCCI renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Board of Trade of Thailand (BoT).

The President is also actively engaged in discussions and in influencing establishment of formal relationship towards fostering linkages between the BCCI and various chambers of commerce in different nations, such as the Korean Chamber and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, etc. Additionally, negotiations are underway to host business delegations from Korea, Bangladesh, and the Czech Republic in Bhutan.

Export Facilitation

The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), under the direct leadership of the President, spearheaded a collaborative

effort to transition mandarin exporters to locally-crafted wooden packing boxes. Sawmills and exporters were urged to pre-emptively establish supply-demand agreements for boxes.

However, unforeseen challenges—late order placements and sawmill capacity constraints—necessitated temporary allowance of imported boxes to safeguard mandarin exports. While this setback prevented full implementation, the experience proved invaluable. The BCCI, along with facilitating institutions, gained valuable insights into the importance of timely convergence and proactive engagement to ensure future utilization of local resources in export packaging. This episode, though not an immediate success, lays the groundwork for smarter, well-coordinated efforts to empower local industries and foster sustainable export practices.


On the business license liberalization front, the President held bilateral consultations with the then Minister for Economic Affairs for liberalization of bar licenses. Now, the government has lifted the restriction and clubbed the same under restaurant service license. The current Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment has revoked the nationwide 'Dry Day' restriction, permitting the sale of alcoholic beverages on Tuesdays without the need to adhere to the previously enforced regulations.

Value-Addition First

The prioritization of exports over domestic industries in the allocation of raw materials, particularly dolomite, under the SMCL prompted the President to underscore the necessity of reassessing dolomite rates. The proposed adjustment entailed establishing a lower rate for local consumption and a higher rate for exports, a measure aimed at fostering the growth of the local industries and overall economic development. Consequently, MSPFC, after consultation with the board, revised the price of dolomite, reducing it to 770, reflecting a strategic move to align with this revised approach.

Foreign Workers

The six-month "cooling period" on imported skilled workers ignited controversy within Bhutan's industries. This rigid policy threatened business sustainability and burdened employers with costly disruptions. The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) rose to the challenge, conducting internal consultations with its members and spearheading open dialogues with the government. Through its unwavering advocacy, the Chamber successfully secured a significant reduction in the cooling period to a more manageable one month. This achievement was met with resounding appreciation from the private sector, recognizing the BCCI's crucial role in safeguarding business interests and fostering a more responsive policy landscape.

Dialogue with Intl. Banks

The President has actively engaged himself in consultative dialogues with diverse international organizations such as ADB, IFC, World Bank, offering substantial input for the development of the private sector. Deliberations included various topics, such as the identification and analysis of investment opportunities, discerning key issues and challenges, and exploring potential opportunities in the sectors of agriculture, alternate renewable energy, food, tourism and SME development.

FDI Facilitation

As the Chamber stands as a committed partner-agency for facilitating economic progress, the President has been a relentless advocater for the nation's private sector even at the international arena. His contributions transcend insightful feedback and constructive criticism directed towards international organizations – an effort towards attracting foreign direct investments and garnering critical support for development endeavors. With unwavering persistence, the Chamber has been relentlessly working towards identifying avenues for international collaboration, be it for securing vital financial assistance, deploying expert analysis to fuel positive change, or fostering crucial external investments.

Hosting Investment Missions

Under the leadership of its President, the BCCI orchestrated a pivotal visit for a 15-member delegation from Europe's Austrian Asian African Association (AAAA) and Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA). This strategic move brought together business delegates, government representatives, and the private sector to explore B2B synergies and unlock promising trade and investment opportunities. This facilitated exchange paves the way for forging mutually beneficial partnerships that will fuel economic growth and prosperity.

The delegation comprised of representatives from various industries, including tourism, eco-tourism, medical services, education and skill development, as well as energy, construction, and engineering. The BCCI has identified 12 potential investment opportunities in Bhutan, and the President has consistently highlighted on these identified areas during his interactions with business delegates.

Bilateral Forum

In a recent bid to strengthen regional ties and unlock future collaboration potential, the BCCI hosted a productive meeting with the President, Secretary General, and esteemed members of FICCI, alongside the Director General of KoTRA. The discussions centered around solidifying the relationship between chambers, exploring avenues for synergistic cooperation. Both parties pledged their dedication to amplifying engagement and involvement, laying the groundwork for a more robust and mutually beneficial partnership poised to foster economic prosperity. This strategic engagement marks a significant step towards forging closer ties and unlocking exciting collaborations between business communities.


While our words may be few, our gratitude knows no bounds. We, at the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, extend our deepest appreciation to you, our President, for your dedication to both BCCI and the heart of our nation – the private sector. Your invaluable contributions continue to pave the way for our collective success, and we face the future with confidence, knowing that under your guidance, both BCCI and Bhutan's private sector will reach ever greater heights. Your vision inspires us, your dedication strengthens us, and for your continued support, we are eternally grateful.

Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry