A Framework of Trade Policy for Bhutan Compatible with the Gross National Happiness

ADB South Asia Working Paper Series No. 39: A Framework of Trade Policy for Bhutan Compatible with the Gross National Happiness

38 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2017

See all articles by Inkyo Cheong

Inkyo Cheong

Inha University

Taeho Bark

Seoul National University - Graduate School of International Studies

Hoe Yun Jeong

Asian Development Bank

Date Written: September 30, 2015

Abstract

Bhutan highly values psychological aspects of social welfare and well-being by setting requirements for satisfying the threshold of the gross national happiness (GNH) index in making national policy decisions. The GNH index, however, includes factors that are seemingly unfavorable to an active trade policy. One of the most urgent tasks facing Bhutan is to improve general living standards, especially the creation of decent jobs for the young. The country needs to benchmark successful development strategies in other countries, and to recognize that no country can develop an economy without an open trade policy. This paper discusses the relationship between the GNH and trade policy, and tries to analyze trade policy issues of Bhutan: inclusive growth, trade facilitation, incidence of tariffs, and World Trade Organization accession. It explores trade and industry policy that is compatible with the GNH guidelines. It also points out that the structure of the Bhutanese government is less oriented to trade policy than its neighbors, and suggests a new organization for promoting a more active trade policy. It concludes by underlining the importance of an active trade policy for Bhutan.

Keywords: Bhutan, gross national happiness, GNH index

Suggested Citation

Cheong, Inkyo and Bark, Taeho and Jeong, Hoe Yun, A Framework of Trade Policy for Bhutan Compatible with the Gross National Happiness (September 30, 2015). ADB South Asia Working Paper Series No. 39: A Framework of Trade Policy for Bhutan Compatible with the Gross National Happiness. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2942477 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2942477

Inkyo Cheong (Contact Author)

Inha University ( email )

253 Yonghyun-dong
Nam-gu Incheon 402-751, Incheon
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Taeho Bark

Seoul National University - Graduate School of International Studies

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Hoe Yun Jeong

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila
Philippines

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