Bhutan Overview: Economy

The chief occupations, which employ more than 60% of the workforce, are small-scale subsistence farming (producing rice, corn, root crops, citrus fruit, barley, wheat, and potatoes) and the raising of yaks, cattle, sheep, pigs, and tanguns, a sturdy breed of pony valued in mountain transportation. Wood and leather products, processed foods, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, textiles, and handicrafts are also important. Hydroelectric power is a most important resource, with some electricity being exported to India; it is the country's most important export. Fuels, grain, aircraft, machinery, vehicles, and fabrics are the major imports; cardamom and other spices, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, fruit, and precious stones are the other primary exports. Tourism is a significant though restricted activity, and it is the country's largest source of foreign exchange. Bhutan's economy is closely tied to that of India, both through trade and monetary links.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Nepal and Bhutan Political Geography