Wednesday, June 18, 2014
P.M.Narendra Modi's Bhuttan Visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned home on Monday from his 2-day Bhutan trip. This was PM's first foreign trip since assuming charge. During Modi's tour, both countries reaffirmed their commitment to extensive development cooperation and discussed ways to further enhance economic ties.
Here are some of the key points of Modi's visit to the Himalayan nation:
1. India and Bhutan reiterated their commitment to achieving the 10,000 MW target in hydropower cooperation and not to allow their territories to be used for interests "inimical" to each other.
2. Modi inaugurated one of India's assistance projects - the building of the Supreme Court of Bhutan and laid foundation stone of the 600MW Kholongchu Hydro-electric project, a joint venture between India and Bhutan.
3. India also announced a number of measures and concessions including the exemption of Bhutan from any ban on export of milk powder, wheat, edible oil, pulses and non-basmati rice.
4. The two sides recalled the free trade arrangement between them and the expanding bilateral trade and its importance in further cementing their friendship.
5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mooted the idea of an annual hill sports festival with India's northeastern states along with Bhutan and Nepal.
6. Modi announced doubling of scholarships being provided to Bhutanese students in India which will now be worth Rs 2 crore.
7. India will also assist Bhutan set up a digital library which will provide access to Bhutanese youth to two million books and periodicals.
8. Both India-Bhutan reaffirmed their commitment to extensive development cooperation and discussed ways to further enhance economic ties.
9. Modi described Bhutan as a natural choice for his first visit abroad as the two countries shared a "special relationship''.
10. The fact that the Prime Minister chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination assumes significance since China has lately intensified efforts to woo it and establish full- fledged diplomatic ties with Thimphu.