Visit of Bhutan’s King to India

  • 10 Apr 2023

Recently, Bhutan’s King visited India. During the visit, Indian Prime Minister and the Bhutanese King discussed a wide range of bilateral issues.

  • The leaders discussed financial support for reforms, institutional capacity building, infrastructure and connectivity projects, energy cooperation, and space cooperation.
  • Bhutan is set to graduate from the list of Least Developed Countries in 2023, and its 21st century Economic Roadmap aims to turn the country into a developed nation.
  • India has also extended Bhutan a third additional standby credit facility to support its economic growth.
  • The credit facility is aimed at supporting Bhutan's development plans and helping it achieve its goals of becoming a developed country with a per-capita income of $12,000 in the next 10 years.
  • The two leaders also discussed the entire gamut of issues of national and regional interest, including security concerns and potential boundary deals with China.
  • While the leaders acknowledged some strategic issues, the primary focus was on development and reform initiatives in Bhutan, as well as India's commitment to supporting its neighbouring country's growth.
  • The Indian government has agreed to expedite the proposed Kokrajhar-Gelephu rail link project, which would create the first-ever rail link between India and Bhutan.
  • The link would connect India's rail network to Bhutan's second international airport, currently under construction in Gelephu, and help establish the southern Bhutanese city as a hub for international investment.
  • Bhutanese king met with a number of Indian CEOs, discussing potential investment opportunities in education and digital technology. The CEOs expressed interest in skilling and training initiatives, which would help build Bhutan's institutional capacity and create new opportunities for young people in the country.
  • The two countries have been collaborating on fintech, start-ups, and emerging technologies, and are now looking to expand this collaboration to properly utilize the energy and potential of their youth.