Currencies by Country:

Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives Bhutan a B1 rating, with a positive outlook. Fitch has a stable outlook with a B+ rating. Finally, S&P last issued a B+ rating, with a positive outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

GDP

In 2010 the total GDP was $1,516,078,205 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $2,088. It grew by 7.44% over the previous year.

Unemployment

The latest unemployment rate for 2009 is 4.00%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 110.94.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is Prime Minister Jigme Thinley, and the head of state is King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The Ngultrum, often denoted by BTN, is the official currency used in Bhutan. Equal in value to the Indian Rupee (through a 1:1 peg), the currency is subdivided into 100 chertrums.

The Ngultrum was introduced in 1974 and was immediately pegged to the Indian Rupee because India
was key in assisting the Bhutanese economy just a decade before. The Bhutanese Ngultrum does not exchange independently with other nations, but it is exchanged interchangeably with the Indian Rupee quite often.

Before the Ngultrum, Bhutan did not have a currency; instead, the Bhutanese bartered for goods that they were unable to produce on their own (i.e. traded goods and services for a certain amount of other goods and services).

Moody’s Rating
N/A
S&P Ratin
B

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

The head of state in Bhutan is the King, also referred to as Druk Gyalpo. Though many Kings have hereditary titles, they can be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote from the parliament, the unicameral National Assembly (also known as Tshogdu). With 154 seats, this body is comprised of locally elected town representatives, religious representatives, and members nominated by the king. All members serve a three-year term.

Executive powers of the monarch of Bhutan were transferred to the cabinet, also known as the council of ministers, Lhengye Shungtsog. Members of the council of ministers are nominated by the king and elected by the National Assembly, to serve fixed five-year terms.

Policy in Bhutan is based on the premise of preserving traditional culture and values. However, some southern Bhutanese of Nepalese origin have shown opposition to this idea.

  • Prominent Figures King: Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck
  • Prime Minister: Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk
  • Chairman, Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMA): Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu

Key Economic Factors Economic Overview

The economy of Bhutan is among the world’s smallest and least developed. The economy is best characterized by agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than 90% of the population. Bhutan is dominated by rugged mountains, and thus the building of roads and other infrastructure has proven extremely challenging and pricey. The economy is closely aligned with that of India, mainly through channels of strong trade and Bhutan’s monetary dependence on India. Bhutan’s industrial sector is often characterized as being technologically backward, as most development projects rely on Indian migrant labor and use production of the cottage industry type. As for Bhutan’s future, several reforms are underway, in fields of education, social concerns, and environment programs. Each economic program bears in mind the government’s desire to protect the country’s environment and cultural traditions (an example is that the government, as it expands Bhutan’s tourist sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists). Foreign investment continues to be held back by uncertain policies in areas like industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance.

  • Industries: Cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, and calcium carbide.
  • Agricultural Products: Rice, corn, root crops, citrus, food grains, dairy products, and eggs.
  • Export Commodities: Electricity (to India, chiefly), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, precious stones, and spices.
  • Import Commodities: Fuel, lubricants, grain, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics, and rice.
  • Trade Partners:: Exports- India (87.9%), Bangladesh (4.6%), Philippines (2%); Imports- India (71.3%), Japan (7.8%), Austria
    (3%) [As of 2004].
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