H.E. Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore made his maiden visit to Bhutan from 14 -17 May 2017. This was the first official visit by a Foreign Minister from Singapore since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Singapore in 2002.
During the visit, His Majesty the King granted an audience to the Foreign Minister at Tashichhoedzong on 15 May 2017. In the afternoon, the Foreign Minister called on Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay and met with Foreign Minister Lyonpo Darncho Dorji at the Gyalyong Tshokhang.
During the meeting both sides acknowledged the good relations shared by the two countries and held discussions on further enhancing and diversifying bilateral cooperation between Bhutan and Singapore. The Foreign Minister announced a training programme by Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) for Bhutanese healthcare professionals in Emergency Medicine and a clinical attachment for Ear, Nose and Throat doctors during the meeting.
The Foreign Minister also met with Lyonpo Lekey Dorji, Minister for Economic Affairs and Lyonpo Dawa Gyaltshen, Minister for Home & Cultural Affairs after the handing over ceremony of books donated by the Singapore National Library Board to the National Library & Archives of Bhutan on 15 May 201 7.
H.E. Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan also met with Lyonpo Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, Minister for Labour & Human Resources and the two Ministers witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and ITE Education Services Singapore on Collaboration in the Field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Lyonpo Damcho Dorji hosted a reception in honour of the Foreign Minister of Singapore and his delegation at the Terma Linea Resort & Spa attended by the senior officials from the Royal Government and international community in Thimphu.
While in Bhutan, the Foreign Minister visited the Buddha Dordenma Statue in Thimphu on the day of his arrival and hiked up to Taktshang monastery in Paro on 16 May 2017. The delegation departed for Singapore on 17 May 2017. The Minister was accompanied by the Ambassador of Singapore to Bhutan and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.