Although Thimphu TechPark struggled to achieve its objective in the initial stages, the Park is now fully leased out and on its way to expand its infrastructure.
The IT Park crossed its employment target of 700 last February. Currently, eight FDI companies have leased space at the park, of which seven are operational. The companies are from the US, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Bangladesh, and India.
Chief executive officer, Tshering Cigay Dorji (PhD), said that all seven foreign companies employ Bhutanese.
TechPark also consists of Bhutan Innovation and Technology Centre (BITC) – a business incubation centre, a data centre and a shared technology centre on the ground floor. The seven FDI companies and BITC employs about 745 Bhutanese youth.
Information and communications minister, DN Dhungyel, said that BITC plays a crucial role in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the country by providing entrepreneurship trainings and conducting events such as the Business Idea Competition of Bhutan and Startup Weekend.
As there is no more space left in the existing building to lease to new companies, the park has initiated its second phase to build a new building. A ground – breaking ceremony (Salang Tendrel) for the new building was held yesterday on a five-acre land that has been leased to the Park.
The new building is expected to create employment opportunities for about 300 Bhutanese youth. Druk Holdings and Investments (DHI) is funding the building’s construction with about Nu 77 million. The new building would be about one-third the size of the existing structure. Construction Development Corporation Limited is expected to complete the construction by June 30, 2019.
The government has also set aside another 13 acres of land for further expansion of the IT Park in future.
Lyonpo DN Dhungyel said that the development of the other phases of the IT Park within the leased area would depend on the success of the first and second phase.
Tshering Cigay Dorji said that the success of the first IT Park has shown that investing in these kinds of initiatives would help create employment opportunities for youth, and earn foreign exchange for the country.