Dasho Tshering Tobgay, Hon’ble Prime Minister, is on an official visit to India from July 5 to 7, 2018, at the invitation of His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. He is accompanied by Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, Finance Minister, and senior officials of the Royal Government of Bhutan. The visit is taking place in the tradition of regular high-level exchange of visits between India and Bhutan that greatly contributes to further strengthening the excellent bilateral relations. The visit is also being undertaken as one of the important exchange of visits as part of the ongoing golden jubilee celebrations on the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between two neighbouring countries bound by shared spiritual heritage and enduring ties of friendship.
During the visit, Dasho Tshering Tobgay called on the His Excellency Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Hon’ble President of India, and conveyed the warmest greetings of His Majesty The King to the friendly people of India. Dasho Tshering Tobgay also conveyed the appreciation of the Bhutanese people to the people and Government of India for the warm reception accorded to His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and His Royal Highness The Gyalsey during the Royal visit to India last year. The Royal visit was special as it was the first visit of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey to India.
Dasho Tshering Tobgay held fruitful discussions with the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India also hosted a lunch in honour of Dasho Tshering Tobgay at Hyderabad House. His program also included meetings with the Ministers for External Affairs, Finance & Railways, Power and the National Security Adviser.
Dasho Tshering Tobgay thanked His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi for the invitation for an official visit to India and for the warm reception accorded to his delegation and to him. Dasho Tshering Tobgay conveyed to His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi the deep appreciation of the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan for the generous assistance provided by the people and Government of India for Bhutan’s 11th Five Year Plan, which began in 2013 and conclude by mid-2018. During the discussions between the two Prime Ministers, other areas of mutual interest and cooperation were also discussed. The meetings between Dasho Tshering Tobgay and all the Indian leaders were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, reflecting the spirit of trust, cooperation and understanding that characterize the special and mutually beneficial nature of the relations between the two countries.
The salient outcomes of the meetings were:
i) The Prime Ministers of Bhutan and India expressed happiness at the excellent state of bilateral relations that stand out as a model of friendly relations between close neighbours. They held wide-ranging discussions on matters of common interest and renewed their commitment to further strengthen the close ties of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation.
ii) The Government of India reiterated its commitment to Bhutan’s socio-economic development and assured full support for Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan, which will commence later this year. The Royal Government expressed deep appreciation for the generous support received from the Government of India which greatly contributed to the successful implementation of the 11th Five Year Plan and for its assurance of continued support to the 12th Five Year Plan for promoting socio-economic development in Bhutan.
iii) The two sides recognised the importance of continued hydropower cooperation between India and Bhutan for mutual benefit and expressed satisfaction on the ongoing hydropower projects. The Government of India provided full assurance that the tariff for the Mangdechhu Hydropower Project will be finalized to the mutual satisfaction of both sides prior to its inauguration as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic relations. Discussions were also held on cooperation in new hydropower projects in Bhutan.
iv) The Government of India complimented Bhutan for the great strides it has made in its socio-economic development in the past five decades due to its continued enlightened leadership. The Royal Government expressed appreciation to the Government of India for its valuable support which has greatly contributed to its all-round progress and transition from the Least Developed Country category.
v) The leaders expressed satisfaction with the activities of the 50th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic relations that are being held in India and Bhutan in a most befitting and meaningful manner. Both sides expressed confidence that these activities would further strengthen the close bonds of friendship and cooperation between the peoples and governments of the two neighbouring countries.
The people and the Royal Government of Bhutan fondly recall that the first country His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi visited soon after assuming office was Bhutan, and look forward to receiving him later this year while the two countries are celebrating 50 years of formal diplomatic relations.