Connectivity & Partnership

Bhutan slips on Ease of Business; foreign workers blocked

As Bhutan’s ranking on ease of doing business slipped eight places to 81, foreign workers from four professions will not qualify to get work permits in Bhutan starting this month, according to the tiny Himalayan kingdom’s labour ministry.

Nov 5, 2018
THIMPU: As Bhutan’s ranking on ease of doing business slipped eight places to 81, foreign workers from four professions will not qualify to get work permits in Bhutan starting this month, according to the tiny Himalayan kingdom’s labour ministry.
 
Carpenters in furniture units, architects, construction supervisors and Early Childhood and Care Development (ECCD) manager and or staff are in the closed occupation category.
 
Department of Labour Director Sonam Wangdi said the decision was according to Bhutan’s policy regarding foreign workers. “If we have the skills available in the country, we cannot use the skills of foreign workers.”
 
Beginning November 1 four new job categories were added to the existing closed job categories taking the number to 32. Some closed occupations include accountants, administrators, business managers, computer operators, electricians, plumbers, gardeners, receptionists, tailors, and security guards among others.
 
Bhutan’s ranking in ease of doing business has been slipping for the last three years despite reforms and the former government’s pledge to take the country’s ranking to the top 50. The World Bank’s ease of doing business report, 2019, which compares business regulation for domestic firms in 190 economies, placed Bhutan in the 81st position, down from 73 in 2018.

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