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Bhutan-Netherlands relations

Diplomatic relations between the Kingdoms of the Netherlands and Bhutan were established on 10 June 1985. Dutch interests in Bhutan were represented by the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), which was established in Thimphu in 1988, with a Country Director to dispatch development associates and to channel Dutch bilateral assistance. Prior to the establishment of diplomatic relations, the Netherlands rendered assistance to Bhutan through UNICEF.

H.E. Mr. Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor, Ambassador of Bhutan in Belgium, is accredited to the Netherlands. Mr. Marten van den Berg, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, is concurrently accredited to Bhutan. The Netherlands provided ODA to Bhutan from the 4th Plan (1976-1981) to the 10th Plan (2008-2013) was € 54.185 million. The Dutch Government supported an ORIO grant for the Lhamoizingkha – Gesarling – Dagana Highway in 2010. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency has initiated a detailed technical study on flood protection alongside Mou River in Gelephu and explored the possibility of providing funding support for land reclamation.

The Prince Claus Fund (Amsterdam) and the World Monuments Fund (New York) have supported the restoration of Drametse Lhakhang and Trashigang Dzong.

A Multi Year Agreements (MYA) under Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) was successfully completed with the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and Royal Audit Authority for short courses, Master Degree, PhD and tailor made training. The Clingendael Institute has collaborated with RIGSS for the Bhutan Foreign Service Program (BFSP) and has lectured at BFSP I and II. The Clingendael Institute regularly invites one junior Bhutanese Foreign Service Officer to attend a two weeks course on “Diplomacy and Regional Cooperation for SAARC countries and the SAARC Secretariat” at the Hague.