Business in India affects business in Bhutan
January 03, 2009: It is regular news that political instability and strikes in neighboring states have affected businesses, travel and lives in Bhutan. But normal situation in Indian states also started creating problems in Bhutan.
The massive flow of cheap Chinese goods into Indian market has attracted Bhutanese buyers as well. Since Bhutan does not have any commercial links with China all Chinese goods entering Bhutan come through India. And they are cheaper in India than in Bhutan.
The weekend market in Dadghari, the town just outside Gelephu, has badly affected the businesses in Gelephu market. Seeking cheaper goods, Bhutanese buyers choose to travel across the border to get goods.
The market, which draws huge crowds, mostly Bhutanese, sells a wide range of goods, including groceries, household items and garments. The market day coincides with that of Gelephu.
This southern Bhutanese town saws crowd on the day but the travelers only. Those failing to find the goods they needed, stop at Gelephu to shop. Those getting what they need in Dadghari just ask Bhutanese shoppers in Gelephu to compare prices.
Gelephu is projected as one of the growing commercial hub of the country with possibility to be connected with airlines. Until government opens up trade with China allowing Chinese goods to enter Bhutanese market, the Indian markers are likely to derail businesses in southern districts.