1. The Prime Minister of Bhutan, His Excellency Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay is on an official visit to India from August 30 to September 4, 2013. He is accompanied by Aum Tashi Doma, His Excellency Lyonpo Rinzin Dorje, Foreign Minister and senior officials from the Royal Government of Bhutan. This is the first overseas visit by Prime Minister Tobgay after being elected Prime Minister, following the second democratic elections in Bhutan in July 2013. The visit is in conformity with the tradition of regular exchange of visits at the highest levels between India and Bhutan, and adds momentum to our time-tested and enduring relations.
2. During his visit, H.E. Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay met with the President, Vice President, and the Prime Minister. His programme also includes meetings with the Chairperson UPA, Finance Minister, Home Minister, External Affairs Minister, Minister of State for Power and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, besides a joint business meeting with ASSOCHAM, FICCI and CII. In his talks with the Prime Minister of India, all areas of mutual interest and cooperation were covered. The meetings were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere, reflecting the spirit of mutual confidence, cooperation and understanding that characterize the unique and special nature of relations between the two countries.
3. The main outcomes of the discussions were:
i) Government of India reiterated its commitment to Bhutan’s socio-economic development. The two countries agreed to work together to further strengthen bilateral relations. Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay thanked India for the support extended for Bhutan’s development and expressed keenness to strengthen people-to-people links.
ii) Government of India’s Assistance Package for Bhutan’s 11th Five Year Plan for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2018, was agreed upon. At Bhutan’s request, India will contribute Rs 4500 Crores towards Bhutan’s 11th Plan, as well as Rs. 500 Crores towards an Economic Stimulus Package.
iii) The importance of continued cooperation in developing hydroelectric projects in Bhutan was also agreed upon. India reiterated its commitment to install an additional 10,000 MW of generating capacity. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress in the three ongoing projects.
iv) India expressed its satisfaction at being a privileged partner of Bhutan in its socio-economic development, and reassured the Bhutanese Prime Minister of its commitment to capacity building in Bhutan.
v) The two sides reaffirmed the trust and confidence between the two countries and their mutual security interests. They agreed to continue their close coordination and cooperation with each other on issues relating to their national interest.
4. Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will be visiting Hyderabad, where he will call on the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, visit an IT Park and Green Business Centre.
5. The visit of the Prime Minister of Bhutan to India will further strengthen the close bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
August 31, 2013