COVID-19 has created an opportunity for Bhutan to use Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to revitalize its economy.As the pandemic continues to disrupt legacy industries, stagnant governments and corporations have been forced to adapt themselves to the new reality. Decades of pent-up inefficiencies have been instantly wiped away. Traditionally large and bloated organizations have leaned their operations, trimming unnecessary fat to survive.Mitigating tragic loss of life is not enough. Countries will need to pro-actively seek out their new place in the world as opposed to reactively managing the disaster.This chaos has created an opportunity for small and agile nations like Bhutan which can easily adapt to shifting circumstances.Unlike its larger neighbors, Bhutan does not have large entrenched special interest groups who might stand in the way of change.By positioning itself as a home for the new highly innovative post pandemic businesses of tomorrow, Bhutan can rise to become a model of sustainable economic growth.With great opportunity comes great risk.
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This report highlights the successes and failures of Philippine SEZ’s efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.