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    Bhutan Economy - 1991

      Overview: The economy, one of the world's least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for 90% of the population and account for about 50% of GDP. Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with that of India through strong trade and monetary links. Low wages in industry lead most Bhutanese to stay in agriculture. Most development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian migrant labor. Bhutan's hydropower potential and its attraction for tourists are its most important natural resources.

      GDP: $273 million, per capita $199 (1988) real growth rate 4% (1989 est.)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9% (1990 est.)

      Unemployment: NA

      Budget: revenues $99 million; expenditures $128 million, including capital expenditures of $65 million (FY89 est.)

      Exports: $70.9 million (f.o.b., FY89); commodities--cardamon, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit; partners--India 93%

      Imports: $138.3 million (c.i.f., FY89 est.); commodities--fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics; partners--India 67%

      External debt: $70.1 million (FY89 est.)

      Industrial production: growth rate - 12.4% (1988 est.); accounts for 18% of GDP

      Electricity: 353,000 kW capacity; 2,000 million kWh produced, 1,280 kWh per capita (1990)

      Industries: cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide

      Agriculture: accounts for 50% of GDP; based on subsistence farming and animal husbandry; self-sufficient in food except for foodgrains; other production--rice, corn, root crops, citrus fruit, dairy, and eggs

      Economic aid: Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $86.0 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $11 million

      Currency: ngultrum (plural--ngultrum); 1 ngultrum (Nu) = 100 chetrum; note--Indian currency is also legal tender

      Exchange rates: ngultrum (Nu) per US$1--18.329 (January 1991), 17.504 (1990), 16.226 (1989), 13.917 (1988), 12.962 (1987), 12.611 (1986), 12.369 (1985); note--the Bhutanese ngultrum is at par with the Indian rupee

      Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June

      NOTE: The information regarding Bhutan on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bhutan Economy 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bhutan Economy 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)