English | Dzongkha Friday, September 21, 2018

Bhutan may stand to benefit by joining the WTO: Deborah Elms

Sep 26, 2013

Deborah-ElmsFrom parliamentarians to academics, and from civil servants to commoners, the issue of Bhutan joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) always gives way to heated debate. The debate is largely over the WTO’s perceived incompatibility with the concept of Gross National Happiness.

The head of Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade and Negotiations, Deborah Elms, says Bhutan may stand to benefit by joining the WTO.

“There are a lot of things I think Bhutan has to offer.  You have lots of potential in travel and tourism,” said Deborah Elms. She also said there is high value and organic agriculture which could be very effectively used in service sectors.

Deborah Elms said in 1999 through 2008, when Bhutan was originally thinking of joining, they already got close to signing the agreements. “I think they are still interested in having Bhutan join because WTO appreciates the challenges that Bhutan is a small, country in between some very big and powerful neighbor.”

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