Bhutan PM calls on Japan to raise worker happiness

Bhutan PM calls on Japan to raise worker happiness

SAM Staff,
Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay

Bhutan is known for its unique index focused on factors that make its citizens feel happy, such as health and environment, rather than economic growth. The index is called Gross National Happiness, or GNH.

Tobgay arrived in Japan on Tuesday for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In an interview with NHK on Thursday, he revealed his idea of applying the index to business in his country.

He said Bhutan will gauge how well companies are complying with the spirit of the index, with the aim of boosting employees’ happiness.

He said it’s important for companies and their stakeholders to be informed about whether employees’ health and living standards are improving.

Tobgay expressed desire to spread the use of GNH abroad, and called on Japanese firms to join the move.

He also touched on an increase in foreign visitors to Bhutan. He said the country now welcomes about 250,000 visitors a year, but that the number is too large in terms of environmental conservation.

Tobgay said his country will bring the number down and take steps to encourage tourists to travel around the country, not just to a few sightseeing spots.

He also said his country wants to welcome tourists not just in spring and autumn, but summer and winter as well.