Editorial Team

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) will be setting up an Entrepreneurship Development center in Bhutan. The proposed Center will be the 6th overseas entrepreneurship development center, established by EDII with the support of Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, dedicated to promoting and nurturing entrepreneurship. The other countries that have seen such Centres with EDII’s efforts are Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Uzbekistan. As a precursor to the establishment of the Center, EDII has organised a two-day virtual policy makers’ workshop to gain insights on Bhutan’s entrepreneurial calibre and needs.

The two-day virtual session was inaugurated today. While the Chief Guest was His Excellency Lyonpo Loknath Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of Economic Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan, the Guest of Honour was Her Excellency, Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Thimphu, Bhutan. Also present on the occasion were Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director General, EDII; Mr. S B Sareen, Director, Dept. of Projects (Govt.), EDII; Dr. Raman Gujral, Director, Dept. of Projects (Corporate), EDII; and officials from Royal Government of Bhutan. A total of 25 policy makers from Bhutan took part in the workshop to share their experiences and participate in the process of strategy formulation.

Commenting on the initiative, His Excellency Lyonpo Loknath Sharma said that Bhutan is a country which has a beaming young population that is raring to go, and so it is important to create opportunities for them. The Honourable Minister recalled the visit of Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minster of Industry and Commerce, to Bhutan wherein, during discussions, emphasis was placed on bolstering entrepreneurship. Hon’ble Lyonpo Loknath Sharma stressed on the significance of setting up an ED centre in Bhutan and added that it was heartening for him and his country that EDII is handling this very important task. He added that in Bhutan various departments and agencies are oriented towards working for the development of the youth, and urged EDII to integrate its efforts with theirs and create a wholesome and customised implementation plan.

Speaking about the initiative, Her Excellency, Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador of India to Bhutan, said, “I am happy that today we have started discussions on the feasibility of setting up an Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Bhutan. It is the need of the hour! I am glad that EDII has undertaken this task. I am certain that the Center will work towards promoting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial avenues in Bhutan.” Ms. Kamboj highlighted the uniqueness of Bhutan, adding that the country has managed extremely well during COVID and is gradually moving towards showcasing a very high prosperity index.

Since the past few years, the Royal Government of Bhutan has been emphasizing and showing increased commitment towards entrepreneurial activity. This is in line with their far-reaching objective of securing larger economic goals. Interestingly, most of the major policies like the Economic Development Policy, Small and Medium Industry Policy, etc., have stressed entrepreneurship. Despite these interventions, the entrepreneurship landscape of Bhutan is still at a nascent stage.

Describing the significance of an entrepreneurship center, Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director General- EDII said, “India has been proud of its contribution towards the development of Bhutan, and entrepreneurship is an important aspect of that. The upcoming Center will not only mentor new-age entrepreneurs but will also facilitate growth of existing enterprises. In this context, EDII will undertake a feasibility study to understand the potential of setting up an Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Bhutan, which will help fulfil the mandate of the Royal Government of Bhutan in terms of industrial development, job creation, and overall economic development.”

Underscoring the significance of the center, Mr. S B Sareen, Director, Dept. of Projects (Govt.) and Dr. Raman Gujral, Director, Dept. of Projects (Corporate), EDII, stressed on the importance of assessing the situation on the ground level to understand the demand-supply gap in terms of entrepreneurship training and capacity building. They went on to specify the rationale and the objectives of the proposed Centre. The feasibility study will be completed in three weeks post which the Royal Government of Bhutan and EDII will start proceeding with the nuanced concerning the establishment of the entrepreneurship development center.

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