The BGA Nepal Team, led by Senior Advisor Sujeev Shakya, wrote an update to clients on Bhutan’s fourth general elections held on January 9.


  • Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay returned to power for a second term leading a landslide victory for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bhutan’s fourth general election. The PDP emerged as the ruling party with 30 of 47 seats while the Bhutan Tendrel Party (BTP) assumed the role of opposition with 17 seats.
  • The government’s inauguration day on January 30 marked a proactive stance with the signing of bold executive orders and directives to address immediate concerns and set the stage for Bhutan’s long-term economic transformation.


  • Bhutan’s hopes for economic recovery hinge on the leadership of Prime Minister Togbay, whose global recognition during his first term (2013–2018) was underscored by his TED Talk which amassed over 5.6 million views – a remarkable feat for a nation with a population of less than 800,000.
  • In a bid to address sluggish GDP growth, youth exodus mainly to Australia and dwindling foreign reserves, Bhutan is poised to open its doors to business in order to double economic growth, create gainful employment and attract foreign direct investment (FDI).  The government demonstrated its intent to open the country’s door for investment, especially FDI, by promulgating its first executive order to form an Economic Development Board to expedite investment.


  • Bhutan’s strategic alignment is shaped by the geopolitical balance it maintains with its neighboring countries. On the northern front, Bhutan engages in ongoing talks with China to settle border disputes via a three-step roadmap. In the south, close cooperation with India is pivotal for the success of the megacity project in Gelephu involving connectivity projects, hydroelectricity trade and strategic border zones with the northeastern Indian state of Assam.
  • Gelephu Mindfulness City, a 1,000-square-kilomter Special Administrative Region in southern Bhutan announced by King Jigme Wangchuck on national day in December 2023, holds promise for economic revitalization.  The masterplan, created by the international landscape and design firm, the Bjarke Ingels Group, envisions a dynamic economic hub featuring an international airport, railway system, hydroelectric dam, public spaces and architectural elements symbolizing the nine domains of gross national happiness. This carbon-neutral economic zone prioritizes energy, connectivity and innovation while also upholding Bhutan’s commitment to economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and cultural preservation.

BGA will continue to keep you updated on developments in Bhutan as they occur. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Nepal Senior Advisor Sujeev Shakya at