Australia and Bhutan have enjoyed a long and productive relationship, dating back to the early days of the Colombo Plan in the 1960s. Building the skills of the Bhutan workforce by supporting the private sector to improve economic growth and strengthening educational institutions remain priorities for Australia’s relationship with Bhutan.
In 2014-15, Australia will invest in Bhutan's education sector and help enhance gender equality. We will build a more skilled workforce by awarding 47 post-graduate Australia Awards Scholarships; supporting technical and vocational skills development; and supporting improvements to Bhutan’s public and private sector institutions. The Awards programme ensures Bhutanese recipients are better prepared to take up senior roles in the public and private sector, and that women have equal access to qualifications.
Students of a Bhutan primary school (credit: DFAT).
Australia will place volunteers in the critical areas of education and health. During 2014, the Bhutan Royal Institute of Management will continue to receive support to develop post-graduate courses in management and public administration. Direct partnerships between Bhutanese institutions and counterpart organisations in Australia are building the skills of staff and the institution as a whole.
Australia’s aid to the South Asia region will also help reduce intra-regional trade blockages for small businesses and women, and ensure better regional management of shared resources such as water and power which will also benefit Bhutan.
Archived details of expenditure for this program for 2013–14 can be found here.
Archived details of expenditure for DFAT’s aid program, following the Government’s announcement on 18 January 2014 to revise the aid budget, can be found here.