Bhutan. During the year, Bhutan took further steps in its development towards greater economic exchange with the outside world. Among other things, the ban on imports of furniture and alcohol was lifted in January. In the same month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) opened a branch office in the capital Thimphu as part of its efforts to develop and broaden the Bhutanese economy. According to Countryaah.com, Bhutan population in 2020 is estimated at 771,619. The majority of ADB’s support goes to financing infrastructure projects, expansion of water and wastewater pipelines and investments in electricity generation. Bhutan has good conditions for extraction of hydropower and the electricity produced is exported mainly to neighboring India.
The close relations between Bhutan and India were strengthened during the year with a series of official visits at the highest level. Among other things, the King of Bhutan and the President of India were on state visits with each other, and in June, Bhutan became the first country to which India’s newly appointed Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on a bilateral state visit.