IS BHUTAN MEETING ITS FOUR “HAPPINESS” GOALS?
The 4th king set down these 4 pillars for the attainment of a high degree of societal
happiness. The first pillar is the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic
Everywhere we visited in the country we saw much evidence of the attainment of this
goal. We saw excellent hotels already established for promotion of a healthy tourist
business. We observed the work on infrastructure primarily road improvements.
We saw thriving businesses, both large and small, in villages and cities. We saw
prosperous farms with healthy and well-fed citizens. We saw plentiful goods in the stores
and shops. We saw foreign investment in the country, in the form of a Japanese car
assembly plant and a soft drink manufacturer. We saw the reach of globalization when
we visited a DHL outlet in the capital city where we sent some unneeded items home
easily and successfully. We learned about the hydroelectric plant that sells India excess
electricity for hard currency and were told that another such power facility is under
construction now. We saw growing entrepreneurship in our own young guide who owns
and operates a snooker parlor in Thimphu and has bigger plans to become a builder
through a business plan involving the hiring of experienced Indian workers through
companies in India. Bhutanese workers do not have the skills possessed by the Indians,
according to Kelzang. We saw that technology is already changing the way business is
done in the country. Computers and the Internet are available and utilized. There are cell
phones and television for mass communications. Bhutan is busily expanding its
economy and bringing prosperity to its people. No doubt the first goal is being met.
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