The Bhutanese Government is making a big digital debut with services for businesses available online for the first time, the Prime Minister has announced.

“For the fist time in Bhutan, government to business services are going online and from now onward business people need not visit the Trade Office to apply or renew their business licenses,” Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay wrote in a Facebook post yesterday.

The Prime Minister launched 34 online services for businesses. They range from applying for cottage industry permits to large-scale industrial licences.

Digital services can “greatly contribute in curbing corruption” by eliminating face-to-face interactions between officials and businesses, he added.

The launch includes 14 services from the Department of Trade, 9 from the Department of Cottage and Small Industries Services, and 11 from the Department of Industry Services.

The country attracts the least foreign direct investment in Asia, and was ranked 71st place out of 189 countries in ease of doing business, according to a World Bank report; it only lifted its ban on the internet in 1999.

Image from Bhutan Prime Ministerˈs Facebook page