The Kingdom of Bhutan has made considerable progress since opening up to the outside world in the 1960s. The country embarked on a far-reaching development strategy that has been articulated in a series of five-year development plans. The new 11th Five-Year Plan (2014–2018) is currently being prepared and continues the practice of targeted investments for human, social and economic development. In this context, Bhutan is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Gross National Income has consistently risen from $730 in 2000 to $2,070 in 2011 and annual Gross Domestic Product growth has also been strong—approximately 8 percent in 2011/12 and projected to reach 12.5 percent in 2012/13. Poverty rates have fallen from 23 percent in 007 to 12 percent in 2012. There are, however, geographical differences; six out of 20 dzongkhags (districts) have poverty levels above the national average.
Landlocked in the eastern Himalayas between India and China, Bhutan was in self-imposed isolation for centuries, only moving on a cautious plan of development with the launching of the first Five Year Plan (FYP) in 1961.
The country’s development philosophy stresses the achievement of equitable and sustainable development over economic growth at...