PM meets Eu Com­mis­sioner

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

L yonch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay was called on by H.E. Mr. An­dris Piebalgs, Euro­pean Union Com­mis­sioner for De­vel­op­ment Co­op­er­a­tion at the Gya­ly­ong Tshogkhang last Fri­day.

Ly­onch­hen con­veyed that RGoB ac­corded high im­por­tance to the rela- tion­ship with the Euro­pean Union (EU) and stated that it was an honor to re­ceive the Com­mis­sioner and his del­e­ga­tion in Bhutan.

Ly­onch­hen ex­pressed that the EU has been ex­tend­ing sub­stan­tial as­sis­tance and de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion to Bhutan since 1982 and Bhutan has ben­e­fit­ted a lot from their aid. EU’s support has proven to be most con­struc­tive in al­le­vi­at­ing poverty, up­lift­ing RNR and agri­cul­ture sec­tor, and strength­en­ing democ­racy in Bhutan. EU has been a part of Bhutan’s tran­si­tion to democ­racy through the EU Elec­tion Ob­server Mis­sion (EOM) in 2008 and Elec­tion Ex­pert Mis­sion (EEM) in 2013.

Ly­onch­hen also thanked the Com­mis­sioner for en­hanc­ing EU’s as­sis­tance in Bhutan by com­mit­ting Euro 42 mil­lion in grant un­der a Multi-An­nual In­dica­tive Pro­gramme (MIP) re­cently.

Com­mis­sioner Piebalgs said that the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Bhutan and the EU is ex­pand­ing and that he was greatly im­pressed to wit­ness Bhutan’s suc­cesses and ac­com­plish­ments. He stated that EU is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing Bhutan in all its fu­ture en­deav­ors.

Not­with­stand­ing the chal­lenges faced by the coun­try to this day, Ly­onch­hen and Com­mis­sioner Piebalgs dis­cussed ways of com­ing up with more di­verse and in­no­va­tive mea­sures to­ward ad­dress­ing eco­nomic dif­fi­cul­ties such as the grow­ing trade im­bal­ance, in­creas­ing debt, in­fla­tion, un­em­ploy­ment, aris­ing cli­mate change is­sues and food in­se­cu­rity among oth­ers. Com­mis­sioner Piebalgs stated that Bhutan and EU must un­der­stand the con­text in depth and re­flect on th­ese is­sues to­gether.

Ly­onch­hen con­grat­u­lated Com­mis­sioner Piebalgs on a very suc­cess­ful ten­ure as the EU Com­mis­sioner and said that Bhutan-EU re­la­tion­ship has made sub­stan­tive progress dur­ing his ten­ure. Ly­onch­hen wished the EU del­e­ga­tion a pleas­ant stay in Bhutan.

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