Almost all the working population is involved in agriculture, forestry or fishing. The economy is therefore mainly one of subsistence and dependent on clement climatic conditions. The main products are cereals and timber about 60 per cent of the land area is forested. There is some small-scale industry – contributing no more than 5 per cent of GDP – producing textiles, soap, matches, candles and carpets. Recent economic policy has concentrated on export industries, of which electric power generation and transmission is the major earner. Tourism and stamps are major sources of foreign exchange. India accounts for nearly 90 per cent of imports and nearly 70 per cent of exports. However, during the 1990s, Bhutan also developed valuable trading links with Bangladesh. Bhutan is a member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which seeks to improve economic and commercial links in the region.
Lightweight or tropical suit or a shirt and tie for the south. In the capital, a full business suit and tie are recommended. The best time to visit for business is October and November.
The following organisation can offer advice: Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, PO Box 147, Doybum Lam, Thimphu (tel: (2) 322 742 or 324 254; fax: (2) 323 936; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.bcci.com.bt).
The BTCL can offer advice (see Contact Addresses section).