Published On:May 5 2008
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Bhutan gets nod for 11 FDI projects

Thimphu: Since the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy became operational on July 1, 2005, eleven projects worth US$ 57.595 million (Nu 2,298.41 million), mostly in the manufacturing sector, have been approved of which some are still under construction.

According to records maintained by the ministry of economic affairs, the overall shareholding pattern is 67.48 percent by foreign partners and 32.52 percent by local companies. Bhutan’s FDI policy allows a maximum of 70 percent holdings by foreign companies and a minimum investment of US $ 1 million.

Saint Gobin ceramics materials Bhutan ltd, a joint venture of Singye group of companies and Grindwell Norten ltd, India, is the biggest venture in terms of cost of setting up the project.

Of the approved FDI projects, only four are actively operating. These include two hotel services, the G4S security services and a specialty fat manufacturing unit.

Hotel services like Bhutan eco ventures ltd, a joint venture of HPL leisure ventures pvt ltd, Singapore (60 percent) and Bhutan international company (40 percent) and Bhutan resorts corporation ltd., a joint venture of Aman resorts group (60 percent) and Bhutan tourism corporation ltd (40 percent), have been operating actively for some years now. The high-end resort joint ventures were approved even before an FDI policy was hammered out.

Bhutan health food products pvt ltd, which manufactures speciality fats, is a joint venture of Health food products pvt ltd from Sri Lanka (60 percent), HFP health food products pvt ltd from India (10 percent) and Rabten engineering workshop (30 percent). The project based in Pasakha began production in mid-2007 and produces a type of oil used in bakery units.

The G4S security services is a joint venture undertaken by Group 4 holding A/S from Denmark and Chundu enterprises with equal holdings. It is currently providing security services to agencies like the Bhutan national bank and the Tashi Taj hotel in Thimphu.

Five FDI companies are still under construction.

The Ugyen ferro alloys pvt ltd is a venture of M/S Chiragsala sales pvt ltd from India with 70 percent holdings, 20 percent by Ugen Tshechup Dorji and 10 percent by Thinley Penjor.

United industries pvt ltd, manufacturer of speciality fats, is a venture between Rankon PLC from the United Kingdom (70 percent) and Samling enterprise with 30 percent.

Saint Gobin ceramic materials Bhutan ltd, which will manufacture silicon carbide, is a venture between Grindwell Norten ltd India (70 percent) and Singye group (30 percent). Quality gases pvt ltd, a liquid nitrogen and oxygen production unit, is a venture between Sunayana commodities pvt ltd from India (60 percent) and Jamyang Loden (40 percent).

Dralha and R Piyarelall steel co pvt ltd, manufacturer of TMT bars, is a joint venture with R Piyarelall import and export ltd from India holding 60 percent. Norbu jewelleries, manufacturer of jewelry and ornaments, is a joint venture of Health food products pvt ltd from Sri Lanka (60 percent) and HPF health food producers pvt ltd from India (10 percent) with Rabten engineering workshop (30 percent).

Samden tech pvt ltd has tied up with Washburn properties ltd, Visor investment solutions from Kazakhstan, which has a 60 percent stake to provide broadband internet services. The venture has not been operating since December, said trade officials.

The chief industry officer of the ministry of economic affairs, Loknath Chapagai, said that these new projects would create employment for 2,218 people.

Industrialists said that these joint ventures were attracted by Bhutan’s cheap energy tariff.

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