Bhutan PM to visit India

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New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay will visit India on a three-day visit from July 5 to hold bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, it was announced on Tuesday.

According to the External Affairs Ministry, Tobgay will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other Ministers will also call on the visiting dignitary.

India and Bhutan are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year and “enjoy unique ties of friendship and cooperation characterized by utmost trust and mutual understanding”, the Ministry said.

It added that Tobgay’s visit “will provide an opportunity to both sides to hold discussions on issues of mutual interest and advance the exemplary ties of friendship”.

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India is a leading development aid partner for the Himalayan kingdom. There are a number of institutional mechanisms between India and Bhutan in areas like security, border management, trade, transit, economic, hydro power, development cooperation and water resources.

New Delhi has set up three hydroelectric projects (HEPs) in Bhutan totalling 1,416 MW which are operational and export surplus power to India. About three-fourths of the power generated is exported and the rest is used for domestic consumption.

India is also Bhutan’s largest trading partner.

In 2016, bilateral trade stood at Rs 8,723 crore, with total imports being Rs 5,528.5 crore (82 per cent of Bhutan’s total imports) and exports recorded at Rs 3,205.2 crore, including electricity (90 per cent of Bhutan’s total exports).

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–IANS

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