16-18 July, Thimphu: About 52 Cottage and Small Industries (CSI) entrepreneurs exhibited their products and services at the Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation (BEFIT) 2019 held at the Royal Thimphu College. BEFIT served as a national forum to bring together a wide range of expertise for sharing the best practices and discuss innovative solutions and challenges to catalyse the CSI in Bhutan.
With a theme, ‘Catalysing the Cottage and Small Industries Sector to drive Bhutan’s economic diversification’, BEFIT focused on the four thematic areas such as nurturing an entrepreneurial culture and developing entrepreneurial skills, furthering innovation and technology, enhancing market access and improving access to finance and mitigating risks.
According to a spokesperson, BEFIT was timely and relevant as it aligns with the objectives of Bhutan’s 12th five year plan (FYP) where high importance has been accorded to promote CSI for its contribution in terms of employment and livelihood. Strengthening and expanding the CSI sector is considered to play a key role in boosting economic activities and enhancing income in rural areas.
During the BEFIT, the Ministry presented on enterprise development opportunities in the RNR sector. The Ministry will focus on developing 20 RNR enterprises in the 12th five year plan through value chain management and cluster development model.
BEFIT also hosted the National CSI Expo empowering the aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations to potential domestic and foreign investors and explore opportunities. In addition, BEFIT launched the National E-commerce and Crowdfunding Portals, featured business-pitching events and panel discussions on thematic topics and announced key economic reforms.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dr. Lotay Tshering launched the BEFIT 2019. It was organised by the Royal Monetary Authority and the Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies in partnership with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and ICIMOD.
The establishment of BEFIT was inspired by the vision of His Majesty The King to ensure that Bhutan’s successful democratic transition is accompanied by valid economic transformation necessary to attain our goal of building a just and harmonious society. The first BEFIT was held in May 2017.
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