India, Bhutan discuss strengthening of development partnership

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New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) As India and Bhutan mark 50 years of diplomatic ties this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay on Friday discussed ways for strengthening the development partnership between the two countries.

“Good discussion on further strengthening cooperation in development partnership,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted following delegation-level talks led by the two leaders.

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, economy, hydroelectricity, development cooperation and water resources.

New Delhi has set up three hydroelectric projects in Bhutan with a total capacity of 1,416 MW, which are operational. About three fourth of the power generated is exported to India and the rest is used for domestic consumption.

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India is also Bhutan’s largest trading partner.

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

–IANS

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