The 12th Annual Consultation on Economic Cooperation between Bhutan and Japan was held in Thimphu today, the 23rd of August 2017. Mr. Kenko SONE, Minister Counsellor for Economic & Development, Embassy of Japan in New Delhi led a 9 (nine) member delegation, comprising of officials from the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi and JICA Bhutan Office in Thimphu. Similarly, a 14 member Bhutanese delegation was led by Ambassador Kesang Wangdi, Director General of Bilateral Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The 11th Annual Consultation was held in August last year in New Delhi. Since its inception in 2006, the Annual Consultations continues to serves as a meaningful avenue for the two countries to review and exchange views on ongoing, as well as future bilateral cooperation programs.
Japan’s assistance to Bhutan is focused in four main sectors of agriculture and rural economy development, economic infrastructure development, social development, and strengthening good governance. Since the last Annual Consultations, from August 2016 to August 2017 alone, the Government of Japan has committed a total of USD 10.8 million through various Grant Aid Projects and Grassroots Grant Projects. Japan’s total assistance to Bhutan in the 11th FYP cycle amounts to USD 73 million.
The Consultations today discussed some new projects for which the Royal Government proposes to avail the assistance of Japanese Government following the findings of the ‘Bhutan’s Development Needs Survey 2017-18’, outlined the priorities of the upcoming 12th FYP to guide upcoming development programs and also discussed the proposed draft Technical Agreement among other matters.
Bhutan and Japan share very close relations. The Japanese government and people have provided invaluable friendship and support over the past many decades for the socio-economic advancement of Bhutan. The Royal Government is extremely satisfied with the current state of relations and cooperation between the two countries and remains confident that the two sides would be able to make even more progress based on the spirit of friendship, understanding and cooperation that has prevailed so far.
Diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Japan was established in March 1986.