Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck will travel to India for a three-day visit from April 3 to 5 with the goal of enhancing bilateral ties.
During his visit, the King will speak with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Droupadi Murmu. Senior members of the Royal Government of Bhutan, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Tandi Dorji, will accompany him, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The King Wangchuk’s visit
According to the MEA, continues the longstanding bilateral tradition of regular high-level exchanges between India and Bhutan. India and Bhutan have “unique friendship and cooperation ties that are characteris by mutual trust and understanding.”
Both nations will have the chance to evaluate all of their bilateral cooperation, including economic and development cooperation, during the visit. According to the MEA, it will also help to advance their strong bilateral relationship. Bhutan is strategically important to India, and relations between the two nations in terms of security and defence have grown significantly in recent years. According to report, India’s strategic interests are strongly tie to the Doklam plateau.
The Indian and Chinese armies engaged in a 73-day standoff at the Doklam tri-junction in 2017 after China attempted to build a road in an area that Bhutan claimed belonged to it. The construction was opposed by India because it would have jeopardised its overall security interests. The India-China dispute was resolved after several rounds of negotiations.
In October 2021, Bhutan and China agreed to a “three-step roadmap” to quicken negotiations to settle their long-running boundary dispute. Bhutan and China are separate by a 400 km border. To settle the boundary disagreement, the two countries have held 24 rounds of negotiations.
Since 1961, India has helped Bhutan implement each of its “Five Year Plans” and gave Bhutan particular support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bhutan’s top trading partner is India. India is also Bhutan’s largest investor.
India gave Bhutan’s XII five-year plan Rs 4500 crore for various multi-sectoral projects, modest development projects, and direct budgetary support (2018-23).
Significant hydropower sector cooperation between the two nations has also taken place. India formally opened seven trade routes with Bhutan for bilateral and transit trade in November 2021. This gave Bhutan’s export of 12 agricultural products to India access to new markets and various special exemptions/quotas for export.