Bhutan and Sin­ga­pore are both small coun­tries with large neigh­bours : PM

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Staff Re­porter

Bhutan has been de­scribed as a small coun­try with a large vision, a so­ci­ety that de­fines hap­pi­ness as the goal for human de­vel­op­ment, and a coun­try that has dared to be dif­fer­ent against the pres­sures of glob­al­iza­tion said the Prime Min­ster Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay while ad­dress­ing the par­tic­i­pants of the Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit 2017 yes­ter­day.

Prime Min­is­ter made a spe­cial men­tion of His Majesty the King’s ad­vice that “No na­tion to­day can stand alone in achieve­ment. Time is slowly telling us that there can be no last­ing in­di­vid­ual suc­cess with­out suc­cess as a com­mu­nity and there can­not be last­ing na­tional progress and suc­cess if it does not fit into a fu­ture of global peace, har­mony, and equal­ity. The world must progress to­gether or fail to­gether.”

And said that it is crit­i­cal that we nav­i­gate a new world or­der through an un­pre­dictable re­gional and global po­lit­i­cal, so­cial, and eco­nomic cli­mate; that we de­fine Asia’s new role in keep­ing re­gions in­ter­con­nected and in­ter­de­pen­dent; that we de­sign poli­cies to deal with in­equal­i­ties that are ex­clud­ing so­ci­eties and leav­ing coun­tries be­hind; that we tap the amaz­ing power of tech­nol­ogy; and that we strengthen so­cial jus­tice and har­mony for all our peo­ples.

“While Bhutan and Sin­ga­pore are both small coun­tries with large neigh­bours, un­like Sin­ga­pore, we do not have the re­sources to be a “small coun­try that can punch above its weight.” Bhutan is con­stantly grap­pling with our karma - the “causes and con­di­tions” - cre­ated by the pres­ence of very large neigh­bours. And it is be­cause of the threat per­cep­tion of a small coun­try with a strong sense of vul­ner­a­bil­ity that Bhutan has ap­proached the process of de­vel­op­ment, mod­ern­iza­tion, and change with ex­treme cau­tion.”

He said that the Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit has delved into the core of the is­sues that are chal­leng­ing the sta­bil­ity of human ex­is­tence and de­vel­op­ment. They are sensitive and con­tem­po­rary is­sues which are very rel­e­vant but are al­ready hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on us. It is crit­i­cal that we nav­i­gate a new world or­der through an un­pre- dictable re­gional and global po­lit­i­cal, so­cial, and eco­nomic cli­mate; that we de­fine Asia’s new role in keep­ing re­gions in­ter­con­nected and in­ter­de­pen­dent; that we de­sign poli­cies to deal with in­equal­i­ties that are ex­clud­ing so­ci­eties and leav­ing coun­tries be­hind; that we tap the amaz­ing power of tech­nol­ogy; and that we strengthen so­cial jus­tice and har­mony for all our peo­ples.

He re­minded the gath­er­ing that when some large pow­ers are self­ab­sorbed and with­draw­ing from many ar­eas of con­cern to the human com­mu­nity; when oth­ers are as­sert­ing them­selves; and when yet oth­ers are try­ing to fig­ure out their iden­ti­ties and roles. For ex­am­ple, the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter, Teo Chee Hean, out­lined a sce­nario where the US might with­draw fur­ther into it­self and China as­sert it­self in the re­gion and be­yond.

Em­pha­siz­ing on the Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness phi­los­o­phy Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay said that this sum­mit is an ap­pro­pri­ate venue to clar­ify the mis­con­cep­tion

that GNH does not un­der­mines the im­por­tance of eco­nomic well­be­ing. It does not. In fact, while GNH has largely fo­cused on the sphere of pub­lic pol­icy, Bhutan is now in­te­grat­ing GNH val­ues into the de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses of busi­nesses. In Novem­ber this year, at a “GNH For Busi- ness” con­fer­ence, we will launch a GNH Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Tool for Busi­ness.

The Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit was es­tab­lished since 2012, as one of the fore­most events for busi­ness and thought lead­ers from Asia and the world to come to­gether and dis­cuss op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges that could im­pact re­gional and global growth, pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity. It seeks to pro­vide a plat­form where ideas on deeper part­ner­ships be­tween the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors that would take us for­ward in the fu­ture econ­omy are de­vel­oped and shared. At­ten­dance is by in­vi­ta­tion only.

The Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit is or­gan­ised by Te­masek Foun­da­tion Con­nects with the sup­port of the Sin­ga­pore Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Board, GIC, the Min­istry of Fi­nance, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, the Min­istry of Trade & In­dus­try, the Mon­e­tary Au­thor­ity of Sin­ga­pore and Te­masek.

The Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit this year was held from 15-16th Septem­ber with 25 speak­ers in­clud­ing Ken Kobayashi the chair­man of the Board of Mit­subishi Cor­po­ra­tion, Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of Sin­ga­pore and Nik Gow­ing a renowned in­ter­na­tional broad­caster.

Many Bhutanese are get­ting ad­dicted to laksa, bak kut teh, and chicken rice : Ly­onch­hen Dasho Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay ad­dress­ing the Sin­ga­pore Sum­mit 2017 , yes­ter­day

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