Said ‘Advantage Assam means Advantage Bhutan’
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay urged foreign investors to explore investment opportunities in Bhutan while speaking at the “Advantage Assam – Global Investors’ Summit, 2018” in Guwahati, Assam.
Hundreds of business leaders including the Chief Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, Mukesh Ambani, TATA Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran and Patanjali CEO Acharya Balakrishna attended the business summit.
Bhutan, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said, is an attractive destination for investment and invited business leaders to visit Bhutan to explore opportunities of investments.
He said the opening of the Bhutanese consulate in Guwahati on February not only enhanced the people-to-people contact in the region but also made it easier for investors from India and abroad to visit and invest in Bhutan.
The business environment in Bhutan, he said, is surprisingly conducive, with Bhutan ranked 75th in the Ease of Doing Business Index 2018.
“But we are not satisfied. We are already working to improve our ranking to top 50,” he said.
The PM also said that Bhutan was a relatively corruption free country with the Transparency International placing it at the 27th position in the corruption perception index. He said Bhutan is one of the most peaceful and stable countries in the world, and added that industries enjoy cheap electricity.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay also said that the Indo-Bhutan free trade agreement provides easy access to the Indian market. “You can enjoy all the advantages of being in Bhutan and export freely without any barriers to India,” he told the gathering.
Addressing the gathering at the same programme, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Bhutan for opening the consulate in Guwahati and expressed hope that it would enhance connectivity and trade in the region.
“I am happy to learn that the Royal Government of Bhutan has opened Bhutanese Consulate in Guwahati,” PM Modi said.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said 50 years ago in 1968, when the two countries established diplomatic relations, Bhutan was a poor country. Today, however, the prime minister said that Bhutan has transformed into a sovereign, modern nation.
He thanked India’s friendship and support in Bhutan’s development progress.
Lyonchhen said that Bhutan takes its neighbours seriously. “Neighbours who are close are more important than relatives who are far away,” he said, quoting a Bhutanese proverb.
“To India, Bhutan is a sibling not a little brother and to Bhutan, India is an older sibling, not big brother,” lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said.
In the past 50 years, Bhutan and India have worked together closely as sovereign brothers politically, economically and socially for the benefit of both the nations. “And we have worked together closely to protect mutual security interests. Indeed, our relation is special,” he said.
Bhutan as a neighbour, he said, would benefit from the prosperity of Assam disproportionately and that this reason had attracted him to participate in the business summit. He congratulated Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for organising the summit.
“As Assam’s immediate neighbour, we in Bhutan are excited, optimistic and hopeful,” lyonchhen said. “Bhutan stands to benefit from Assam’s growth and prosperity as we are bound by history, geography and shared hopes and aspirations. Put simply-Advantage Assam means Advantage Bhutan.”
MB Subba | Guwahati