Thimphu TechPark Crosses the 700-people Direct Employment Target

Thimphu, 24 Feb. 2016. Thimphu TechPark Ltd., the developer and owner of Thimphu TechPark, the first IT Park of Bhutan, is pleased to announce that the IT Park has crossed the direct employment target of 700 people this month. As of today, there are 717 Bhutanese, mostly youths, working at the IT Park. We consider this very auspicious as we have reached this milestone in the same month as the Royal birth of His Royal Highness our beloved Gyalsey and His Majesty's 36th Birthday.

This has been made possible because of the support received from many quarters, especially from the stakeholders like the Department of IT and Telecom and the Ministry of Information and Communications, our shareholders Druk Holding & Investments and Bhutan Telecom Ltd., the World Bank, and last but not the least, the Royal Government of Bhutan. We believe that the first IT Park reaching this milestone has clearly shown that the IT and IT Enabled Services industry hold a huge potential for helping Bhutan meet the dual challenges of youth unemployment and trade deficit which was recently reported to have reached Nu. 32.8 Billion last year.
The first IT Park of Bhutan was developed under a DBFOOT (Design, Build, Finance, Own, Operate, Transfer) Public Private Partnership model with funding support from the World Bank. The build phase was completed on 30 April 2012, and the operations phase started from May 2012. Initially, 74% of the shares of Thimphu TechPark Pvt. Ltd. was owned by a foreign company based in Singapore, Assetz Property Group (APG) and DHI owned the remaing 26%. In October 2014, APG transferred all of its shares to DHI and the name of the company was changed to Thimphu TechPark Ltd. Today, DHI holds 51% of the shares and Bhutan Telecom holds the remaining 49% of the shares in the company.

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DHI Assumes 100% Ownership of Thimphu TechPark

Thimphu, 29 October 2014. Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), the commercial arm of the Royal Government of Bhutan, has today signed the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with its Joint Venture Partner, Assetz Property Group (APG) of Singapore, to acquire the 70% stake that APG held in Thimphu TechPark Pvt. Ltd., the company that developed the first IT Park in Bhutan on a DBFOOT (Design, Build, Finance, Own, Operate and Transfer) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.The IT Park is also the first PPP Project to be carried out in Bhutan. The discussions on the deal were initiated in the beginning of this year when APG expressed its intent to exit from the JV partnership citing changes within their company and their strategic interests as the main reasons. However, due diligence, getting the required clearances from the Government and other official procedures that needed to be fulfilled for tasks of this nature took some time. With the signing of the SPA today, DHI becomes the 100% owner of Thimphu TechPark. The shares were acquired at a substantial discount below the face value of shares. For DHI, the decision to acquire APG’s stake in the IT Park has been driven not only by its long term strategic commercial interests, but also by the social mandates that it tries to fulfil through its companies since the IT Park holds the potential to create employment opportunities for our youth and earn much-needed foreign exchange. Therefore, DHI’s intention is only to make the IT Park more vibrant by providing the required budgetary support for its marketing, operations and maintenance. Currently, there are about 280 people working from the IT Park in about 5 companies.