First jun­ket

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi chose neigh­bor­ing coun­try Bhutan for his first trip abroad. Modi was given a cer­e­mo­nial wel­come in Bhutan's cap­i­tal Thim­phu where he in­au­gu­rated a Supreme Court build­ing con­structed with In­dian as­sis­tance. He also laid the foun­da­tion for a 600 megawatt hy­dro­elec­tric power sta­tion, part of an en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion plan to meet the coun­try’s en­ergy de­mand.

Modi’s de­ci­sion to make Bhutan his first des­ti­na­tion abroad is be­ing seen as In­dia’s bid to re-es­tab­lish its sta­tus in the re­gion that was over­shad­owed by a hy­per-ac­tive China, which has been build­ing ports in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and its all­weather ally, Pak­istan. It also over­took In­dia as the big­gest for­eign in­vestor in Nepal in the first six months of this year.

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