The existing general Cooperation Agreement between the Royal Government of Bhutan and Helvetas, the Swiss Association for International Cooperation expires on 30 June, 2008. A new Agreement is thus being signed on 30 June, 2008 at the Foreign Ministry. Foreign Secretary Yeshey Dorji signed on behalf of the Royal Government and Mr. E.W. Kuelling, Resident Coordinator, on behalf of Helvetas. The Agreement will be valid for a period of five years till the end of 10th Five Year Plan (30 June 2013).
The main areas of cooperation between Bhutan and Switzerland are in RNR Sector, Rural Infrastructure Development, Education and Culture. The possible new areas of cooperation will also be explored in the Decentralized Governance through this new agreement.
Switzerland is one of Bhutan’s oldest and closest development partners which established formal Diplomatic relations in 1985. Helvetas was the first NGO to come to Bhutan. Our development cooperation started with a modest beginning in the livestock sector. Helvetas opened its office in Thimphu in 1983 with a Resident Coordinator. Today the two countries enjoy excellent relations and cooperation.