After prolonged debate, government plans to unveils its decision this month whether to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or not. The debate to join or not to join WTO started in 2009 when the country was given observer status.
In 2009, the then Thinley government had almost decided to join the world trade body but withdrew at the last hour. The accession would open up trade opportunities for the country but there are questions whether Bhutan can sustain the open door trades and promulgate enough legal tools to regulate such trades. The country also beed to bear costs.
The cost refers to the financial resource that the country needs to amend or abolish existing acts and regulations to make them coherent with WTO rules and agreements, and even to establish new institutions for that matter.
Going by the studies conducted in the past, membership in the WTO would give Bhutan a stake on direction of international trade. The country can also reap the benefits from access to open market and ensure that Bhutanese goods are not discriminated in the market.