Bhutan

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Introduction - Bhutan:

Country

Bhutan

Background

In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined Indias responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of some 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the governments draft constitution - which would introduce major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. A referendum date has yet to be named, but should occur in 2008. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition.

Location - Bhutan:

Location

Southern Asia, between China and India

Geographic coordinates

27 30 N, 90 30 E

Map references

Asia

Area

total: 47,000 sq km
land: 47,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area comparative

about half the size of Indiana

Land boundaries

total: 1,075 km
border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas

Terrain

mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m
highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m

Natural resources

timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate

Land use

arable land: 2.3%
permanent crops: 0.43%
other: 97.27% (2005)

Irrigated land

400 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the countrys name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season

Environment current issues

soil erosion; limited access to potable water

Environment international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography note

landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes

People - Bhutan:

Population

2,327,849
note: the Factbook population estimate is inconsistent with the 2005 Bhutan census results; both data are being reviewed and when completed, the results will be posted on The World Factbook Web site (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook) later this year (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 38.6% (male 465,340/female 433,184)
15-64 years: 57.4% (male 688,428/female 647,134)
65 years and over: 4% (male 47,123/female 46,640) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 20.5 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 20.7 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.082% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

33.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

12.46 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.074 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.064 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1.066 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 96.37 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 94.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 98.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 55.17 years
male: 55.38 years
female: 54.96 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.67 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

less than 100 (1999 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

NA

Nationality

noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Bhutanese

Ethnic groups

Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

Religions

Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

Languages

Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47%
male: 60%
female: 34% (2003 est.)

Government - Bhutan:

Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
conventional short form: Bhutan
local long form: Druk Gyalkhap
local short form: Druk Yul

Government type

absolute monarchy; special treaty relationship with India; note - transition to a constitutional monarchy is expected in 2008

Capital

name: Thimphu
geographic coordinates: 27 29 N, 89 36 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Chirang, Daga, Gasa, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang, Tashi Yangtse, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang

Independence

8 August 1949 (from India)

National holiday

National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)

Constitution

none; note - a draft constitution was unveiled in March 2005 and is expected to be adopted following the election of a new National Assembly in 2008

Legal system

based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage

each family has one vote in village-level elections

Executive branch

chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him
head of government: Prime Minister Kinzang DORJI (since August 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed, five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote; election of a new National Assembly is expected in 2008

Legislative branch

unicameral National Assembly or Tshogdu (150 seats; 105 members elected from village constituencies, 10 represent religious bodies, and 35 are designated by the monarch to represent government and other secular interests; to serve three-year terms)
elections: first election to be held in 2008; note - local elections last held August 2005 (next to be held in 2008)
election results: NA

Judicial branch

Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch)

Political parties and leaders

no legal parties

Political pressure groups and leaders

Buddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community; United Front for Democracy (exiled)

International organization participation

AsDB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the us

none; note - the Permanent Mission to the UN for Bhutan has consular jurisdiction in the US; address: 2 United Nations Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 826-1919; FAX [1] (212) 826-2998
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the us

the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations, although informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy in New Delhi (India)

Flag description

divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side

Economy - Bhutan:

Economy overview

The economy, one of the worlds smallest and least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than 60% of the population. Agriculture consists largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with Indias through strong trade and monetary links and dependence on Indias financial assistance. The industrial sector is technologically backward, with most production of the cottage industry type. Most development projects, such as road construction, rely on Indian migrant labor. Bhutans hydropower potential and its attraction for tourists are key resources. Model education, social, and environment programs are underway with support from multilateral development organizations. Each economic program takes into account the governments desire to protect the countrys environment and cultural traditions. For example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists. Detailed controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$3.503 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$840.5 million (2005 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

8.8% (2005 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$1,400 (2003 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 24.7%
industry: 37.2%
services: 38.1% (2005)

Labor force

NA
note: major shortage of skilled labor

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 63%
industry: 6%
services: 31% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate

2.5% (2004)

Population below poverty line

31.7% (2003)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices

5.5% (2005 est.)

Budget

revenues: $272 million
expenditures: $350 million; including capital expenditures of $NA
note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutans budget expenditures (2005)

Public debt

81.4% of GDP (2004)

Agriculture products

rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs

Industries

cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism

Industrial production growth rate

9.3% (1996 est.)

Electricity production

2.05 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

526.5 million kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

1.4 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

20 million kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004)

Oil consumption

1,160 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

NA bbl/day

Oil imports

NA bbl/day

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

0 cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Exports

$186 million f.o.b. (2005)

Exports commodities

electricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, precious stones, spices

Exports partners

India 69.2%, Japan 9.1%, Germany 3.7% (2006)

Imports

$410 million c.i.f. (2005)

Imports commodities

fuel and lubricants, grain, aircraft, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics, rice

Imports partners

India 75.3%, Hong Kong 16.1%, Mexico 4.9% (2006)

Debt external

$593 million (2004)

Economic aid recipient

$78 million; note - substantial aid from India (2004)

Currency code

ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)

Exchange rates

ngultrum per US dollar - 45.279 (2006), 44.101 (2005), 45.317 (2004), 46.583 (2003), 48.61 (2002)
note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee

Communications - Bhutan:

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Telephones main lines in use

31,500 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

82,100 (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: telecommunications facilities are poor
domestic: very low teledensity; domestic service is very poor especially in rural areas; wireless service available since 2003
international: country code - 975; international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India; satellite earth station - 1 (2005)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 0, FM 9, shortwave 1 (2006)

Television broadcast stations

1 (2006)

Internet country code

.bt

Internet hosts

7,567 (2006)

Internet users

30,000 (2006)

Transportation - Bhutan:

Airports

2 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)

Roadways

total: 8,050 km
paved: 4,991 km
unpaved: 3,059 km (2003)

Military - Bhutan:

Military branches

Royal Bhutan Army: Royal Bodyguard, Royal Bhutan Police (2005)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 483,860
females age 18-49: 453,683 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 314,975
females age 18-49: 296,833 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 23,939
females age 18-49: 21,979 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

1% (2005 est.)

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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