Made in Tibet

Increasing the living standard of the population of Tibet is not only about eliminating poverty, since the economic power of the Tibetan people fundamentally determines their ability to enforce their interests from freedom through environment protection to autonomy.

However, the Tibetan development program of China is primarily about the extension of Chinese interests and about validating them at whatever cost, from education through transport to mining, therefore, with the Chinese economic development programs, the Tibetan people actually do not move forward at all.

In my opinion, because of this, the Central Tibetan Administration should start an economic development program, which would be explicitly about mitigating poverty in Tibet and about strengthening the ability of Tibet to enforce its interests.

Within the frames of this economic development program, the Central Tibetan Administration would appoint those Tibetan companies, which would really improve the Tibetan economy by selling their products. The companies could be family-owned manufactures or even multinational companies producing industrial components. A product packaging standard would be created for the products of these companies.

This standard visualization containing Tibetan symbols could be used on the packaging of any product, ranging from scented candles through washing powder to oil filters. This packaging would make the products of the appointed companies unique and recognizable from a long distance, so standardization would make it easier for the customers to identify the products as Tibetan.

The products would get the standardized packaging in Dharamsala in order to create jobs for Tibetan refugees and make the originality of the products verifiable. So every product that repackaged according to the standards created in this economic development program would get to the global market through Dharamsala.

Unfortunately, because of the Tibetan circumstances, the Tibetan products start with a competitive disadvantage compared to the average Chinese products, hence it is harder to sell the Tibetan products on the global market due to their inevitably higher selling prices. Furthermore, the repackaging makes the costs even higher, however, using the Tibetan symbols on the packaging makes it possible that customers feeling sympathetic towards Tibet will choose the Tibetan product from two identical products. By doing that, customers can facilitate the development of the Tibetan economy and the opportunities of the Tibetan people.

So this economic development program would be beyond small souvenirs and it would not even matter, whether the product made in Tibet is connected to the Tibetan cultural heritage or not. As a result, pharmaceutical, apparel and car components manufacturing companies could also join the program, if they fulfill the requirements of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Coming from its nature, there is a possibility to make an accurate list of the products taking part in the program. Because of this, retailers feeling sympathetic towards Tibet can develop some of their shelves especially for Tibetan products. In order to grab the consumers’ attention, the Central Tibetan Administration could create not only detailed product descriptions and various brochures, but also commercials related to Tibet. These would be made especially for touchscreens, that can be placed next to Tibetan products in retail stores.

Purchasing and repackaging the products of Tibetan companies, and transporting them to the global market through Dharamsala would be market-based, depending on the consumption of the given product. However, in case of bigger orders, the Central Tibetan Administration could play a liaison role towards the Tibetan companies.


The standardized appearance of the verified Tibetan products on the global market would result in higher marketability for the products of common Tibetan companies, even if the quality is the same while the selling prices are higher. Through these companies, this would really develop the Tibetan economy for the sake of Tibetan people. Meanwhile in Dharamsala, a huge amount of workplaces could be created, which would provide a real living for the Tibetan refugees.

(The first version of this concept was written in February 2015.)