First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: On December 13, Bhutan achieved a significant milestone by officially departing from the category of the least developed countries (LDCs), marking a remarkable stride in the nation’s development journey. This accomplishment is attributed to Bhutan’s distinctive ‘gross national happiness’ approach, reflecting its notable progress.
The transition from LDC status underscores Bhutan’s enhanced economic resilience and development, leading to increased self-reliance and a more robust position in the global economy. Despite lingering challenges, such as the loss of specific trade preferences, this graduation is expected to usher in a positive transformation in Bhutan’s economic integration. Moreover, it is likely to attract greater foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade opportunities.
Bhutan’s ascent from the LDC category, making it the seventh country to do so, is particularly noteworthy given the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres’, acknowledgment of the “vicious cycles that make development difficult, if not impossible.”
The United Nations is actively supporting Bhutan’s transition, emphasizing the importance of a well-executed strategy to mitigate potential implications. This involves proactive engagement with trade partners and leveraging the graduation to enhance market access through neighboring countries’ ports.
Beyond being a symbol of development success, Bhutan’s graduation serves as an inspiration for other LDCs striving for similar achievements. It illustrates that even countries facing challenging conditions, such as being landlocked and vulnerable to natural disasters, can achieve sustainable growth and development.
Bhutan’s ongoing status as a landlocked developing country (LLDC) adds complexity to its challenges. Additional support measures for LLDCs will be discussed at the Third UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries in Kigali in June.
The achievement of graduating from LDC status is commendable and holds the promise of a brighter future for Bhutan. It highlights the effectiveness of development policies centered on human well-being and the environment, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Celebrating this milestone, Rabab Fatima, the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States, expressed, “Bhutan’s graduation is truly a momentous occasion. I will continue my advocacy and outreach efforts both within the United Nations and beyond to rally support and solidarity for Bhutan and other graduated countries.”
The United Nations System commits to supporting Bhutan in its post-graduation journey. In line with the ambition of the Doha Programme of Action, UN-OHRLLS continues to assist other Least Developed Countries as they strive to improve the lives and opportunities of their people. As Bhutan enters this new chapter, sustained international support will be pivotal in ensuring a seamless transition and sustained development.
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