Thimphu Tech Park Expansion Begins
Thimphu TechPark begins work to expand its infrastructure with the ground breaking ceremony (Salang Tendrel) for a new building on a five-acre land that has been leased to the Park.
Fully leased out to seven FDI companies, Thimphu TechPark begins work to expand its infrastructure with the ground breaking ceremony (Salang Tendrel) for a new building on a five-acre land that has been leased to the Park.
The seven FDI companies from US, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Bangladesh, and India and BITC employs about 745 Bhutanese youth according to Chief executive officer, Tshering Cigay Dorji (PhD).
New Techpark will create employment opportunities for youth
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) has announced that another Techpark will be set up by 2019. This is geared towards addressing unemployment in the country through Information and Communications Technology. The plan was highlighted at the 3rd ICT Conference held in Thimphu on 16 Oct 2017.
DN Dhungyel, the Information and Communications Minister said that the present Techpark, Thimphu Techpark, has not just become a source of employment but revenue as well. Currently, the facility employs more than 800 youth and contributes Nu 180 M to the economy annually.
TechPark also consists of Bhutan Innovation and Technology Centre (BITC) – a business incubation centre, a data centre and a shared technology centre on the ground floor. The seven FDI companies and BITC employs about 745 Bhutanese youth according to Chief executive officer, Tshering Cigay Dorji (PhD).
Promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Bhutan
Information and Communications Minister, DN Dhungyel, said that BITC plays a crucial role in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the country by providing entrepreneurship trainings and conducting events such as the Business Idea Competition of Bhutan and Startup Weekend.
The new building is expected to create employment opportunities for an additional 300 Bhutanese youth. Druk Holdings and Investments (DHI) is funding the building’s construction for about Nu 77 million (1.18 million USD). The new building would be about one-third the size of the existing structure. Construction Development Corporation Limited is expected to complete the construction by June 30, 2019.
The government has also set aside another 13 acres of land for further expansion of the IT Park in near future.
The startup ecosystem in Bhutan
Tshering Cigay Dorji said that the success of the first IT Park has shown that investing in these kinds of initiatives would help create employment opportunities for youth, and earn foreign exchange for the country.
Thimphu TechPark has been instrumental to the development of the startup ecosystem in Bhutan. Through out the year, the TechPark organises Basic Entrepreneurship Course and collaborate with Techstar on Startup Weekends, the most recent one focusing on Eco-tourism in November 2017.
By Karma Cheki (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)