Investment in natural capital and human capital development essential to achieve USD 10bn economy: ADB

The country needs to make investments in areas, which has high productivity and revenue efficiency to achieve the ambitious target of becoming a 10-billion-dollar economy by 2034. This is according to the Asian Development Bank’s Vice President of Operations, Shixin Chen who says the country must see sustained growth in the coming years. He added that developments in the 13th Five-Year plan are crucial in achieving the 10-billion-dollar economy goal. The vice president is in the country to take stock of the ADB operations in Bhutan and to discuss possible future engagements with the government.

Meeting with the members of the media today, the ADB’s vice president of operations said the country needs to make use of its unique natural capital like hydropower, solar, and wind energy to boost economic growth towards a 10-billion-dollar economy.

“It will support and boost the economy and maybe in agriculture and urban development. So, it will generate a lot of job opportunities for the people and for the youth as well,” said the vice president of ADB.

The vice president also highlighted the need to invest in human capital development to increase the economic growth rate.

“We need to look at education, skills development and we need to look at the health system and social protection to be able to lead the growth being inclusive. And yes, we need to continue. So, it is not like volatile growth, it must be a sustainable growth. So, financial support, human capital development, and social inclusive would be the key areas,” added the vice president.

The Asian Development Bank projects Bhutan’s economy to grow at 4.7 per cent this year and drop slightly to 4.6 per cent next year. And further down to 4.2 per cent in 2025.

Now, for the country to achieve a 10-billion-dollar economy by 2034, it needs to sustain an annual growth rate of 11.7 per cent. This means that the country’s economy must grow by almost 130 per cent compared to the previous numbers to achieve a 10-billion-dollar economy in the next 11 years.

Sherub Dorji

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