First-ever Bhutan Agri-food Trade and Investment Forum kicks off in Thimphu

To bring together local and foreign investors and entrepreneurs to explore trade and investment partnerships in Bhutanese agri-food, the Bhutan Agri-food Trade and Investment Forum began today in the capital. Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay attended the forum opening, which is the first of its kind to be held in the country.

More than 130 international and local participants representing different international agencies and private companies attended the forum.

The forum will leverage opportunities for investment in agri-food systems in Bhutan.

At the event, the minister for industry, commerce, and employment said that Bhutan is making strategic policy moves to create an environment that is not only business-friendly but also sustainable and ethical in practice.

The minister added that the government will soon implement the revised Foreign Direct Investment policy which will be endorsed next week. This is expected to enhance the ease of doing business in Bhutan.

In its executive orders issued on assuming office, the government directed the ministry to review the FDI policy and submit recommendations to the government.

“Recognising the significance of FDI, the government has periodically revised the FDI policy to create a more favourable investment environment for foreign investors. The upcoming revision of the FDI is expected to bring a much-needed paradigm shift enhancing the investment environment and making it more appealing to investors. Almost all sectors will be open to investment. With an Economic Development Board as an apex government body led by the prime minister addressing all FDI bottlenecks, it will make it easier to do business in Bhutan than ever before,” said Namgyal Dorji, Industry, Commerce and Employment Minister.

Towards the afternoon, as part of the forum, the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Younten Phuntsho launched the exhibition and food fair at the Centenary Coronation Park. The fair showcases Bhutan’s unique agricultural products.

Around 30 stalls serving traditional and fusion recipes are set up at the park. The fair will remain open until Friday.

Deki Lhazom

Edited by Phub Gyem

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