Việt Nam keen to boost comprehensive relations with Bhutan: PM

May 13, 2019 - 23:40
Despite its small population, Bhutan prides itself on having one of the highest happiness indexes in the world


Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc welcomes Bhutan's National Council Chairman Tashi Dorji (left), who is in Việt Nam for an official visit and to attend the 16th UN Day of Vesak. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam wants to promote relations with Bhutan, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said at a reception for visiting Chairman of the National Council (Upper House) of Bhutan Tashi Dorji in Hà Nội yesterday.

He said the two countries have a lot of historical, cultural and religious similarities, so they are able to co-operate and share experience.

The PM congratulated Bhutan on its achievements over the years. Despite its small population, Bhutan prides itself on having one of the highest happiness indexes in the world, he said.

Chairman Dorji praised Việt Nam’s organisation of the United Nations Day of Vesak 2019 celebration.

He said Bhutan has set up diplomatic relations with 36 countries in the world, including Việt Nam. The two sides share many similarities in landscape, religion and people, which are favourable conditions for developing bilateral ties, he added.

Bhutan is working with Việt Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to set up a bilateral consultation mechanism between the two foreign ministries, he said.

He added that Bhutan is also pushing ahead with agricultural reform and mechanisation, hoping to collaborate with Việt Nam in agriculture, including importing farming machines from Việt Nam and learning from the country’s experience in developing farming.

Dorji suggested increasing delegation exchanges between the two sides and noted that the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Bhutan is increasing.

PM Phúc in turn asked him to pay attention to promoting several activities, such as high-level delegations and people-to-people exchanges.

He urged the two sides to soon sign a visa exemption agreement for diplomatic and official passport holders, and another on bilateral consultation between the two foreign ministries.

As bilateral trade remains modest, the PM suggested the two countries enhance co-operation in fields of Bhutan’s interest, such as machinery and components for agriculture and manufacturing, as well as wooden furniture.

He recommended that the two sides boost their tourism partnership by running direct charter flights to tap into their cultural similarities, especially Buddhism.

The PM hoped Bhutan would continue to create optimal conditions for Vietnamese citizens to live and work there.

Việt Nam is willing to share experience in agriculture with Bhutan, he affirmed.

He also called on Bhutan to continue supporting Việt Nam to ensure consensus at international and regional organisations which both are members to. — VNS