Prime Minister Narendra Modi who arrived in Bhutan on Saturday morning for a two-day visit was welcomed by Bhutanese PM Dr Lotay Tshering. PM Modi took to Twitter and said that he was deeply touched by the gesture. Modi also received a guard of honour at the airport.
Reached Bhutan a short while ago, marking the start of an important visit. I am extremely grateful to @PMBhutan for welcoming me at the airport. His gesture is deeply touching. pic.twitter.com/75EYI4ItTz— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 17, 2019
Raveesh Kumar, the spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs said that India and Bhutan share deep historic ties. Prime Minister Modi's visit will help the ties to further deepen. The spokesperson added that ties with Bhutan are the central pillar of India's "neighbourhood first" policy.
The visit is to diversify India's partnership with Bhutan from the hydro-power sector to enhanced trade and linkages in space and education. Modi will be interacting with various business leaders.
Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale also indicated that India was mindful of the need to broaden ties with Bhutan. As part of the efforts to retain the role as a developmental partner, India will provide Rs 400 crore to encourage Bhutanese exporters and trade support facility.
Modi's visit indicates further significance to the efforts of Beijing to woo Thimphu and build stronger diplomatic ties with China. It also points to a shift away from hydropower.
"The contribution to five-year plan as trade support for companies and manufacturers to incentivise and export more to India," said Gokhale last week.
Modi's departure statement said that he is confident that the visit will promote the time-tested and valued friendship with Bhutan and consolidated it further.