…GDP per capita to increase to USD 4,256 in 2029 

Thukten Zangpo

The government plans the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to double from USD 2.5 billion (B) to USD 5B by 2029 and USD 10B by 2034.

This according to the government’s draft “Long Term Perspective Plan (2024-2034),” is one of the 10 drafts National Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) identified.

From the beginning of 13th five-year plan, the government’s new approach would be to set Bhutan’s socio-economic development efforts over the next 10 years from 2024-2034 towards realising the Royal Vision of ‘Developed Bhutan’, according to the Long Term Perspective Plan (2024-2034).

Bhutan has been following the five-year socio-economic development planning cycle since the country’s first five-year plan in 1961.

The 13th five-year plan will start from February 2024 to February 2029, and will be aligned to the term of the next government.

The Plan identified 10 KPIs formulated based on the principle of 3Ps (prosperity, people, and progress), four cluster KPIs (economic, social, security, and governance), and national programmes that span over five years.

The World Bank figure shows Bhutan’s GDP at USD 2.5B, ranked the 30th lowest in 2020.

With the Macroeconomic Framework Coordination Technical Committee projecting the country’s GDP to reach USD 8B by 2035 at 4 percent annual growth, the Plan stated that the country has an opportunity to reach USD 10B by 2035.

To realise GDP growth, economic cluster KPIs are set to create 1,000 high-end jobs annually in the digital economy.

Also, to increase the share of the digital economy to GDP to 10 percent by 2029 through exploring opportunities in investments in both local and foreign direct investments sector, financial technology, and Bhutanese creative industries presence on the global platform.

The growth could also be achieved by reducing the country’s trade deficit from 21 percent of GDP by 2029 through increased exports and not through ban on imports.

By 2029, the share of manufacturing to GDP is targeted to increase from 6 percent to 15 percent. In the last 13 years, the share of manufacturing remained stagnant at 7 percent.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow is to increase to Nu 100B by 2029 with 20 percent of FDI share must in digital and knowledge sectors.

The private sector investment has to increase from 40 percent to 60 percent by 2034 excluding the state-owned enterprises and hydropower.

There is also an increase in the GDP per capita from USD 3,400 to USD 4,256 by 2029, and above USD 12,000 by 2034. This would see an increase in annual average household income from USD 5,000 to USD 60,000 by 2034.

Ensuring critical energy requirements are met domestically by 2030, ensuring efficient air and road connectivity for internal and external by 2028, and establishing Internet redundancy by 2025 were also included as the indicators of the growth.