e-Commerce Portal- taking 'Made in Bhutan' products to the international market

From BBS, August, 2021



'Made in Bhutan' products now has access to the international market


With the launch of the National e-Commerce Portal today, small businesses in the country can now overcome the barriers and the challenges of economic scale and geography to compete globally. 


While the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed physical restrictions globally, it has also opened up new doors to the digital world. E-Commerce recorded a significant boom in recent times. It has changed and redefined the traditional way of doing business across the globe. 


The soft launch of the portal, Bhutan Made, will provide a digital marketing platform for Bhutan's cottage and small industries. 


"It was initially conceptualised during the Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation (BEFIT) 2019. It has been almost two years that we have been working together. The main objective is to promote Bhutanese products and also to benefit the Bhutanese merchants," said Dorji Kadin, the CEO of the BoBL. 


"For now we have about seven stakeholders on board. RMA as an institution takes the lead in coordinating and supporting. Logistics and shipping will be taken care of by Bhutan Post and for product certification, we have BAFRA and Bhutan Standards Bureau. And for the licensing, e-commerce guidelines and policies, we have the ministry of economic affairs," said Rinchen Dorji, a Research Fellow with the RMA. 


Currently, there are nine merchants with 155 distinct and authentic Bhutanese products utilising the portal service. They say the platform will benefit them, especially during situations like the current COVID situation. 


"I have a bookstore targeted only towards the local market. The books are my own work while the others are works of other local writers. We have not been able to send it outside Bhutan. Luckily now that this platform has come up, I feel like my work along with other Bhutanese writers' can go out," said Chador Wangmo, the Proprietor of Miza Books. 


The portal will be managed and operated by the BoBL for an initial period of two years. Upon expiry of the period, the operation of the portal will be outsourced to interested entrepreneurs or other State-Owned-Enterprise.


Yeshi Dorji