Modi 2.0: Visiting the Himalayan Kingdom

Image: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi arrived in the Himalayan state Bhutan on Saturday for a two-day visit to enhance the level of cooperation and diversify bilateral partnership with the neighbouring country. On reaching Thimphu, he was welcomed by Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and received a Guard of Honour.

Image: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi’s visit to Bhutan is to be considered strategic looking at the ongoing terms with China. The small Himalayan kingdom acts as a buffer between the two Asian giant on their eastern border. With the recent Doklam Crisis between India & China, the importance and cooperation from Bhutan remain laudable. Bilateral ties between the two nations have taken an upward swing in the last few years.

Bhutan was the first country Modi visited after assuming charge as prime minister in 2014. Recently, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited the Himalayan nation in June in his first overseas trip after assuming charge of the ministry. He had discussed important aspects of the bilateral ties, emphasising on development partnership and cooperation in the hydropower sector.

Similarly, in November, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering chose India for his maiden foreign visit. He had discussed the country’s five-year development plan with PM Modi. 

Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant Inauguration

PM Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant, one of the significant projects under Bhutan’s initiative to generate 10,000 MW hydropower by 2020 with the New Delhi’s assistance.

The Rs 4,500-crore ($632 Million) hydroelectric plant lauded as a Bhutan-India friendship project is a 720MW run-of-river power plant built on the Mangdechhu River in Trongsa Dzongkhag district of central Bhutan. It was developed by the jointly constituted body by the Indian and the Bhutanese governments, Mangdechhu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA).

PM Modi meets Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Wangchuck

Indian Prime Minister on Saturday called on Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and exchanged views on taking the “exemplary” Indo-Bhutanese partnership forward.

RuPay Card launched in Bhutan

PM Modi also launched Indian RuPay Card in Bhutan by making a purchase at Simtokha Dzong, built-in 1629 by Shabdrung Namgyal, which being one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan, functions as a monastic and administrative centre.

“I am very happy that today we have launched RuPay card in Bhutan. This will further enhance our relationship in digital payments, trade and tourism. Our shared spiritual heritage and strong people-to-people relationship are key of our relations,” Modi said.

India-Bhutan signs 10 MoUs

PM Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering held wide-ranging talks on Saturday during which they discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors as the two nations signed 10 MoUs to infuse new energy in their ties.

The 10 Memorandum of Understandings signed were in the areas of Space Research, Aviation, IT, Power and Education.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Akshat Verma

Akshat Verma is an Associate Editor at The Kootneeti. His area of interest includes India-Pakistan-China relations and Indian Foreign Policy. He can be reached at team@thekootneeti.com

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