…for further deliberations and endorsement

Staff Reporter

The draft copy of the 21st Century Economic Roadmap has proposed to achieve high-income nation status by 2030. 

The status will be defined by a per capita Gross National Income of more than USD 12,376, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Governance and ecosystem, human capital and infrastructure and technology are three key thematic elements that will define characteristics of the 21st century economy.

The roadmap, according to a press release, has discussed an inadvertent impact of organisational silos and the need for a coherent, conducive and agile regulatory and policy framework in the governance. “The government should also look into attracting foreign investments and a transparent and efficient allocation of resources.”

The document also suggested a review of the economic philosophy and orientation, administrative burden and regulation and the bureaucratic mindset.

With the current challenges of limited opportunity (demand side) and lack of appropriate skills (supply side), the roadmap has urged to look at not only reforming our education system, but also incorporating new techniques that will upskill the existing workforce, and actively engage civil society.

“A 21st-century economy must be adequately endowed with the most recent physical and digital infrastructure to enhance access to technological capabilities,” the draft reads.

To provide a supporting platform for economic activities to thrive and have the potential to transform the economy by accelerating growth and creating employment, the press release stated that the roadmap had looked into various enablers and drivers as interventions.

The roadmap has also considered hydropower as a strategic input and resource and further harnessing should be driven by manufacturing aspirations like advancing frontiers of capabilities in hydropower related industries.

“To achieve the proposed high-income nation status by 2030, the annual investment requirement could reach as high as Nu 1,500 billion over the next 10 years,” says the document. “The roadmap views an efficient healthcare system as an essential enabler, both from a primary care point of view as well as attracting foreign investments in the sector.”

It has also considered construction and infrastructure as a strong driver as well as an enabler of economic growth to generate revenue, employment, creation and capital formation. “The roadmap envisions the construction sector to contribute Nu 77,872M to GDP and create thousands of jobs.”

Some of the drivers of the roadmap are manufacturing, agriculture, cottage and small industries, including culture and creative industries.

Tourism has also been identified as a driver of economy and has been suggested to adjust traditional business model of minimum fixed tariffs, rigid booking, connectivity to the market, and visa and route permit requirements.

Having completed the development of roadmap, the draft was submitted to the Gross National Happiness Commission Secretariat for onward submission to the government.

The GNHC will also detail out the implementation plan to operationalise the roadmap.