Bhutan depended on India, both in terms of imports -
consumables, fuels, grains, machinery, spare parts, cars -
as well as exports. 93% of Bhutan's exports went to India -
electric power, cement, crafts, fruits and spices such as.
Over the past few years, Bhutan has sought to gain
greater variation in its foreign trade, while at the same
time launching development programs with financial
assistance from, among other things. India, Norway, Kuwait,
Japan and Switzerland. Farmers are forced to work in
projects designed to improve infrastructure without
Efforts to introduce a market economy into the country
have largely failed and Bhutan is among the 42 least
developed countries in the world. Even geographically,
obstacles are encountered: the mountains make the
construction of roads that become disproportionately
But the 5-year plans are adhered to. As a consequence,
gross domestic product grew by an average of 7.5% annually
over the period 1980 to 1990. In 1992, the 7th plan, aimed
at improving exports, protecting the environment, a balanced
development between the individual regions was launched.,
and an improvement in women's relationships. To achieve
these results, attempts were made to attract the foreign
investors with technical assistance from India.
Comprehensive privatization campaigns, which were intended
to enable the population to gain influence over a
state-owned enterprise, were initiated. The 1994-1995
Finance Act reveals new increases in international aid:
41.6% was aid from the UN and other organizations, while
21.2% came from India. Bhutan has some discrepancies about
the borders with China and India. As for China, the
discussion revolves around the right to the Arunachal
Pradesh region, while with India trying to find a final
ruling on the right to a smaller area between Sarbhang and
In a country without legal political parties or trade
unions, the National Women's Organization, as one of the
very few organizations of this type, has sought to "promote"
Bhutan's women and try to persuade women to abandon
traditional agricultural work in favor of producing crafts.
Until 1996, the Nepalese government met with the Bhutan
authorities 7 times to solve the problems of the more than
100,000 emigrants - Nepalese and Bhutanese of Nepalese
descent - living in refugee camps in Nepal. Since 1990,
Bhutan has considered these refugees - the so-called "hotsampas"
- to be stateless.
Nepalese activists stated in 1995 that more than half of
Bhutan's population is Nepalese, but the government
estimated that at most one-third is; on the other hand, the
majority of the public servants are of Indian descent.
In 1996, the European Parliament accused the government
of Bhutan of human rights violations. Nepal proposed
launching a study to determine the nationality of the "hotsampa",
but Bhutan rejected the proposal.