Ambassador Tshoki Choden presented her Letters of Credence to Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council on 7 November 2023, accrediting her as Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the European Union.
President Charles Michel welcomed Ambassador Tshoki Choden’s appointment and expressed happiness at the warm relations between Bhutan and the European Union, based on shared values and common interests. He commended Bhutan’s role in addressing climate change issues, highlighting the importance of the climate agenda to the European Union. He also reiterated the European Union’s assurances to continue its partnership with Bhutan post graduation from the group of least developed countries.
Ambassador Tshoki Choden conveyed the warm greetings of His Majesty The King, Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen and the Chair of the Interim Government of Bhutan to the President. She also conveyed the appreciation of the Royal Government and the people of Bhutan for the development assistance provided by the European Union to Bhutan for over 40 years, which has made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the country, as well as for the European Union’s continued reassurances to partner with Bhutan beyond graduation.
The European Union is an important development partner for Bhutan. Under the Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP 2021-2027), the European Union has committed € 31 million for the first phase of MIP (2021-2024) focusing on three priority areas in Bhutan – Climate Change; Green Growth and Self-reliant Bhutan; and Digital Transition: a driver for change in education and public services delivery. To date, Financing Agreements for “Promoting Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Agri-food Systems in Bhutan” worth 15 million euros and for “Strengthening Good Governance and Digitalisation in Bhutan” worth 9.3 Million euros have been signed under the funds committed for the first phase. Assistance for the remaining period of MIP 2021-2027 will be announced by the European Union after the mid-term review in 2024.
The EU first started financing development projects in Bhutan in 1982 and diplomatic relations between the EU and Bhutan were established on 9th August 1985.