Bhutan’s Hydropower: the Economy Sector and One of the Foundations of the State's Foreign Policy

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Junior researcher, Group of South Asia and the Indian Ocean Region, Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies
Affiliation: Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 2

The small Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, located in South Asia between China and India, is constrained in the alternatives of means for development. The most optimal natural resource for exploitation is the system of mountain rivers and the energy received from them. At the same time, this sector of the country's economy faces several development difficulties. Those often include the technical complexity of project implementation, the national debt burden, the impact of hydroelectric power plants on wildlife preserved in the Kingdom, deep dependence on New Delhi solutions and limited alternatives for partnership in the industry. The article is based on the comprehensive approach. The author explores the natural resources available to the country, the peculiarities of their use and analyzes the hydropower facilities implemented in the Kingdom, as well as those at different stages of construction. The article also studies the national regulatory and structural fundamentals of the sector’s organization in a small state. The role of hydropower in foreign trade and in ensuring the welfare of the Himalayan country is determined on the basis of actual data, as well as the conditions and main schemes of project implementation and sources of financing for energy initiatives in the country. The importance of the Bhutan's hydropower industry in forming its foreign policy course is considered. Hydropower gave an impetus to the growth of the Kingdom's economy, but also it determined the long-term prospects for its development.

KeywordsBhutan, hydropower of Bhutan, economy, external policy of Bhutan, India, rivers of Bhutan
Publication date19.04.2022
Number of characters32512
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