Bhutan 1999

In 1999, the population of Bhutan was estimated to be around 2 million people. The economy of Bhutan was largely based on subsistence agriculture and hydropower exports. Its foreign relations were mainly with India, and to a lesser extent other Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Politically, Bhutan in 1999 was an absolute monarchy under King Jigme Singye Wangchuck. The Prime Minister was Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuck and his party held a majority in Parliament. The country had a unicameral parliamentary system known as the National Assembly of Bhutan. See ethnicityology for Bhutan in the year of 2018.

Yearbook 1999

Bhutan 1999

Bhutan. In June, King Jigme Singye Wangchuk celebrated 25 years on the throne. In connection with the anniversary, both TV broadcasts and the Internet were introduced in the country. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Bhutan. Delegations for Bhutan and Nepal’s governments met in September to discuss for the seventh time how to bring back the approximately 97,000 Bhutan refugees who have been in Nepalese camps since the early 1990s. No settlement could be reached, as Bhutan was prepared to allow only 3,000 of the refugees to return. The Bhutanese regime claimed that the refugees are Nepalese, despite the fact that many of them lived in Bhutan for a long time.

  • Also see to see the acronym of RUB which stands for Bhutan and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.

Map of Bhutan Thimphu in English

Bhutan Geopolitics

The Kingdom of Bhutan, located on the slopes of the Himalayas and nestled between the two major Asian powers, China and India, is one of the most isolated states in the world. The country’s international relations are dominated by the relationship with India, which until 2007 had a formal say in Bhutanese foreign policy. Only in that year was the clause contained in the Perpetual Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1949, which allowed New Delhi to supervise the work of Bhutan and the right to grant the authorization for the purchase of weapons from third states, to be canceled.. Since then there has been a gradual opening to the world, emblematic of the first official meeting in history between a representative of the Bhutanese government, Prime Minister Tobgay, and a representative of the American government, Secretary of State John Kerry, in 2015. On the other hand, relations with Beijing are diametrically opposed: in the context of the Sino-Indian rivalry, Bhutan is configured as one of the regions over which the two giants compete for hegemony. Since the founding of the People’s Republic, China has seen New Delhi’s control over its small neighbor as the effect of a clear hegemonic will and has reacted by claiming a large slice of Bhutanese territory. Although the talks that began in the mid-1980s have reduced the disputed area from more than a thousand to just 269 km2 and, in 1998, a peaceful coexistence agreement was reached, the question appears far from resolved, since the Beijing’s claims have not ceased.

Between 2007 and 2008, Bhutan changed its form of government, transforming the absolute monarchy into a constitutional one. In 2007 the first elections in the history of the country were held and the following year the first Constitution was passed. Compared to other monarchies in the world, the Bhutanese monarchy has a unique peculiarity: Article 2 paragraph 6 of the Constitution requires the sovereign to abdicate at 65 years of age. The same article is also particularly relevant in that it provides for the possibility of abolishing the monarchy by means of a referendum. In 2013, the second electoral round in the country’s political history was held. The People’s Democratic Party, led by Thsering Tobgay, won 32 seats out of 47 and thus replaced the Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party at the head of the country.

Bhutan is famous for adopting an indicator as opposed to the GDP: the ‘gross national happiness’. This measure is not focused exclusively on the economy, but takes into account, according to a holistic approach, spiritual values ​​and the environment. The economy of Bhutan is one of the smallest in the world also due to geography, which does not favor the development of infrastructure and transport. The country is not only isolated from a political-diplomatic point of view, but also physically: the first railway connection with foreign countries is the 18-kilometer stretch of railway that has connected Bhutan to India only since 2009. Consequently, the Bhutanese economy is essentially based on the hydroelectric and construction industries and is heavily dependent on India, both in terms of imports and exports. Furthermore, the government continues to depend heavily on foreign funding, particularly India, to support its public spending. The government’s priorities are the diversification of the economy, both by sectors and by partners, and the development of the service sector. Processes to be supported without affecting the environment, consistently with the ‘gross national happiness’ approach. A great potential for Bhutan’s economy is tourism, but restrictions on access permits limit its scope. consistent with the ‘gross national happiness’ approach. A great potential for Bhutan’s economy is tourism, but restrictions on access permits limit its scope. consistent with the ‘gross national happiness’ approach. A great potential for Bhutan’s economy is tourism, but restrictions on access permits limit its scope.


Thimphu, capital of Bhutan; 114,600 residents (2017). Thimphu is located about 2,000 meters above sea level. and surrounded by terraced farms and forests. The city is a commercial center, and there is also some industry, mainly the food industry.

When Thimphu began construction in the 1950s, there were only a few small houses and a monastery (dzong) on the site that formed the ruler’s summer residence since 1641, when Bhutan united. Thimphu became the official capital in 1962. The traditional architecture has been maintained.

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