The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Canberra, Australia with the support of The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Western Sydney University(WSU), commissioned a guide for export from Bhutan to Australia in the form of a case study titled “Expanding Horizons: A guide for export growth from Bhutan to Australia”. It is based on the experience of Bhutan Blossoms – a local agri product exporter.
Coinciding with the 12th Royal Wedding Anniversary, a dedicated website to guide potential Bhutanese exporters – based on the case study – was launched virtually on Friday, 13 October 2023 by Hon’ble Foreign Minister Lyonpo Dasho (Dr.) Tandi Dorji.
Bhutan Blossoms is a social enterprise based in Punakha Bhutan, and specializes in niche food products manufactured using locally grown herbs, spices, teas and edible flowers. In 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and against all odds, Bhutan Blossoms started exporting its products to Australia. This made Bhutan Blossoms a pioneer, becoming the first Bhutanese enterprise to enter the highly competitive Australian food market by retailing its products at Harris Farm Markets in Sydney.
Based on Bhutan Blossoms’ insights and learning, the case study charts a roadmap for similar Bhutanese businesses that see potential market for their products in Australia. In analyzing its export journey, it provides valuable insights for all stakeholders connected to the food export industry in Bhutan, whether that be policymakers, small-scale food processors, cooperatives and researchers seeking to understand challenges and opportunities for the industry beyond Bhutan’s borders.
The launch was organized as a hybrid event with stakeholders and guests participating via video conference from Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam and in person in Canberra. The event was attended by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment, Ministry of Agriculture and livestock, Mr. Steven Barraclough Asst. Secretary for Mainland South and Central Asia Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia, representatives from ICIMOD, WSU and the Bhutanese community.
The website and associated materials such as the video and booklet can be viewed at https://www.mfa.gov.bt/ExportToAustralia/