Soft Launch of National E-Commerce Portal

The National E-Commerce Portal is an initiative of the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Bank of Bhutan to enhance access to international market for our local `Made in Bhutan` products. The platform is an outcome of the Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation (BEIFT) 2019, which was themed `Catalysing Cottage & Small Industries to Drive Bhutan`s Economic Diversification` and will provide a digital marketing platform for Bhutan`s cottage and small industries.

E-Commerce has transformed and redefined the traditional way of doing business across the globe, gaining renewed thrust during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Given our size and location, the smart application of e-commerce technologies will help Bhutan overcome the barriers and challenges of economic scale and geography to integrate with the global market. We are confident that this portal will pave the way to promote and build competitive advantages for Bhutanese products and small businesses. Partnerships and collective effort were key to develop the e-commerce ecosystem and has involved the active participation of various stakeholders, such as the Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, the Bhutan Standards Bureau and the Bhutan Postal Corporation Limited. Stakeholders have worked on developing the necessary e-commerce policy and regulatory frameworks, product certification and standardization, and logistics to foster trust among consumers and businesses alike.

The order placement and integration were tested, through orders from the Royal Bhutanese Embassies in Bangkok & Brussels and, Bhutanese living in New York and Australia. The orders were successfully delivered although there was a delay in delivery due to the current pandemic.

The portal will be managed and operated by the BoBL for an initial period of two years, which is expected to provide opportunities and avenues to address challenges for further improvements. Upon expiry of the period, the operation of the portal will be outsourced to interested entrepreneurs or other State-Owned-Enterprises.

Recognizing the need to nurture entrepreneurial culture through innovative technology, the development and enhancement of the Online Web Portal was awarded to a local tech firm, Cloud Bhutan. Currently, we have on-boarded 9 merchants with 155 distinct and authentic Bhutanese products.