To support private sector development, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and BCCI Committee of Sector Association (BCSA) in Thimphu yesterday.

The MoU aims to strengthen and improve cooperation among private sectors in the country.

BCCI’s Secretary General Sangay Dorji said that currently, activities in the private sector happened in a fragmented manner. “In the past, there was a committee of general secretaries which was very useful. However, it went defunct for over five years now.”

The feedback from people both in government and private sector, he said was that there was a need of such a committee as a platform to understand the situation in the private sector holistically.

Sangay Dorji said that for instance, there were about 17 different agencies, which worked on different initiatives regarding entrepreneurship development according to a report. “But at no point do they converge and the impact created is very minimal. The effort is in fragments.”

He said that whatever one sector does have implications on the other sectors. “So, it is important for one to understand what the other sector is doing.  Therefore, things can be planned accordingly.”

If we need to develop the private sector, all sectors need to come together, he said. “The committee will not only be useful to the private sector but it will also be in a better position to guide the government.”

Except for one, about 10 sector associations signed the MoU yesterday.

Executive director of Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO), Sonam Dorji said that during the sidelines of the third meeting of BCSA, the decision to sign MoU was to formalise cooperation. “It’s not that there was no cooperation before. We are formalising it to put a face to the private sector.”

With the committee, there would be the consolidated view of the private sector, regular meetings and opportunities for networking and interaction, he said. “Until now, we had ad hoc meetings whenever individual sectors had issues. But there was no issues discussed that concerned private sector as a whole.”

Besides the discussion to explore business opportunities, the BCSA would also act as an advisory and technical committee both within the chamber executive committee and the government, he said.

Sangay Dorji said private sector development is incorporated in the 12th Plan. “The committee will meet quarterly.”

He said that a need assessment was conducted in some of the dzongkhags, which would help to build capacity of the private sector.

Rinchen Zangmo