In 2007, a few prominent industrialists and entrepreneurs in the country got together to form an Association that would address the industrial issues in a manner that considers the broad industrial and environmental aspects related to the sector. While the Association started functioning imperceptibly in 2007, the “Association of Bhutanese Industries” formally came into being in September 15, 2008 with a permanent office and staff headed by a General Secretary.
The Association was established with a view to act as a platform to study the areas that hinders the growth of the industries and takes up such issues to the government and related agencies for redressal. Further, the Association amongst other functions is to review relevant Acts, Rules, Regulations, Procedures, and Policies of Bhutan as well as of other countries and make appropriate recommendations to the government with an intention to pave way for an accelerated growth of manufacturing industries in the country.
During the initial phase of the Association, it had a rough ride with scanty fund, shortage of manpower and mounting industrial problems ushered in by the global financial crisis. However, with the unstinted financial support of Tashi Commercial Corporation, Bhutan Ferro Alloys Ltd.; Bhutan Carbide and Chemicals Ltd.; Lhaki Cement; Druk Iron & Steel Pvt. Ltd.; RSA Pvt. Ltd.; and Pelden Group and coupled with dedicated staff of the Association’s Secretariat, the Association sailed through the rough ride successfully and hit the new year -2010 on a firm footing. Since its inception, the Association submitted a host of industrial issues to the government wherein more than 70% of the issues were resolved. For instance, preference for domestically manufactured goods of 5%; establishment of a police station in Pasakha; re-location of dry port and railway line from Phuentsholing to Toribari near Pasakha Industrial Estate; direct access roads to Pasakha and Matanga Industrial estates by-passing Phuentsholing and Samdrup Jongkhar towns respectively, NAPA Project, Excise Duty, Study on Revision of Power Tariff. etc..
In line with one of the visions of the Association “Represent manufacturing industries in all forums both within and outside the country to foster growth of industries in the country”, the Association participates in various consultative meetings and forums, trade fairs, both within and outside the country. To name a few, the Association participated in the formulation of Economic Development Policy (EDP) 2010; Foreign Direct Investment Policy (FDI), 2010, Mineral Development Policy; 1st Bhutan India Regional Friendship Trade Fair held in Gelephu (January 8-12, 2010); 10th SAARC Trade Fair held in Kathmandu, Nepal (December 15-19, 2010), and 24th Industrial India Trade Fair, Kolkata, India, (December 24th 2010 -January 2nd 2011). The participation in trade fairs facilitates in establishing business contacts through face to face interaction with the potential suppliers of industrial raw materials and potential buyers of products. Further to gear the Association towards its vision to “Facilitate growth of industries in the country”.