ICC members look for sustainable investment

ICC members look for sustainable investment

Bhutan-India Business Delegation Explores Sustainable Investment Opportunities

During the Bhutan-India networking session in the capital on July 2nd 2024, approximately 30 members of a business delegation from the India Chamber of Commerce (ICC) participated in discussions with members from the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).

The delegation comprised representatives from diverse sectors, including real estate, media, horticulture, healthcare, education, medicinal herbs, food processing, agriculture, chemicals, fertilizers, paints, among others.

Ameya, President of ICC, highlighted India’s strong relationship with Bhutan and described it as an opportunity for Indian businesses to seize. During the session, he emphasized the need to focus on addressing smaller issues and developing mechanisms to support this effort, proposing that ICC could serve as an extended arm of BCCI.

Additionally, the ICC President stressed leveraging the robust Bhutan-India relationship to tackle mutual challenges and capitalize on opportunities arising from Bhutan’s relaxed foreign direct investment policies. He specifically mentioned potential collaborations in real estate, hospitality, and ecotourism, noting the advantage of North Bengal’s proximity for Bhutanese investors. He invited Bhutanese members to explore large-scale township developments in India and suggested joint ventures in hospitality and sustainable tourism.

Similarly, Sanjay Goyal, Chairman of ICC North Bengal Council, emphasized the opportunities presented by Bhutan’s eased foreign direct investment policies, particularly in sectors like hospitality and education. He characterized Bhutan and North Bengal as “Siamese twins,” underscoring their close connection and significant potential for collaboration.

Sanjay expressed optimism about forging a lasting partnership, especially in real estate and the hospitality industry, aiming for sustainable development and long-term economic progress between both nations.

Umang Mittal, Co-Chairman of ICC North Bengal Council, pointed out the alignment between Bhutan’s commitment to ecotourism and North Bengal’s strengths in connectivity and affordability. He highlighted Siliguri’s thriving real estate market as offering substantial opportunities for Bhutanese investors, with ongoing large-scale township developments.

The session also emphasized collaborative efforts in hospitality management and ecotourism to enhance visitor experiences and promote sustainable tourism. Examples included leveraging North Bengal’s renowned tea estates and Bhutan’s dedication to organic farming and sustainable agriculture.

Umang underscored the vast potential for adventure tourism, citing Bhutan’s scenic trekking routes and North Bengal’s diverse wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. He proposed further exploration of these opportunities through joint efforts in Siliguri, aiming to attract global adventure enthusiasts while contributing to economic development and environmental stewardship in both regions.

Meanwhile, during the session, a business delegation from Bhutan emphasized the importance of sharing membership data between the countries to facilitate ongoing business interactions and mutual trust-building.

The Bhutanese delegation highlighted Bhutan’s potential in forest products, particularly in herbs, due to limited space in manufacturing sectors aside from upper vacancies. They viewed this as an excellent opportunity for ICC to explore business in agriculture and construction sectors, among others.

Furthermore, the session underscored Bhutan’s commitment to sustainable development, ecotourism, organic farming, and addressing challenges and solutions aimed at enhancing visitor experiences and promoting economic development and environmental stewardship in both regions.

By Sherab Dorji, Thimphu