Bhutan to Leverage Silicon and Graphite Deposits for Economic Growth

Bhutan is planning to establish silicon chip and graphite battery industries in the country as part of its efforts to transform the industrial sector and boost the economy. The government aims to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) from 6 per cent to 15 per cent by 2029.

According to Karma Dorji, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Employment, the government needs to implement drastic changes and transform the industry sector, and the Industry Transformation Roadmap will direct the manufacturing sector’s growth.

Lyonpo, the Finance Minister, stated that the industry sector will contribute the largest share to Bhutan’s GDP, as the country aims to double its GDP to $5 billion and $10 billion by 2034. Bhutan has ample supplies of silicon and graphite, the primary raw materials used in the production of silicon chips and graphite batteries, making it suitable for these industries.

Ferro-silicon is Bhutan’s leading exported goods, with exports of Nu 15.28B in 2021 and Nu 16.22B in 2022. Several ferrosilicon factories have also emerged in the country.

The government is confident that these industries will thrive in Bhutan as they have predictability and sustainability, and the world is rapidly adopting these technologies. Nevertheless, the government acknowledges that it must enhance its capacity and capability to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and ensure the success of these industries.

Lyonpo believes that setting a vision and roadmap, coupled with policy reforms and support, will create a conducive environment for the government, private sector, and FDIs to establish these manufacturing plants.

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