Japan commits to continue its assistance to Bhutan

Since its inception in 2006, the annual consultation continues to serve as an avenue for the two countries to review and exchange views on ongoing and future bilateral cooperation programs, a press release from the foreign ministry stated.

The government of Japan renewed its support for Bhutan’s socio economic development, during the 12th annual consultation on economic cooperation between the two countries yesterday.

Since its inception in 2006, the annual consultation continues to serve as an avenue for the two countries to review and exchange views on ongoing and future bilateral cooperation programs, a press release from the foreign ministry stated.

With the visit of Princess Mako this year, the minister counselor for economic and development from the Japan embassy in New Delhi, Kenko Sone said that the ties between the two countries has become stronger. “While we will continue our assistance, the relation between two countries should not limit to donor and beneficiary,” he said. The relation, he said should be horizontal where businesses in both the country are equally important.

During the consultative meeting yesterday, the Bhutanese side had proposed 10 projects for consideration under technical cooperation and four grant aid projects in the field of health, agriculture and infrastructure restoration.

Director general with the bilateral department, Kesang Wangdi, who led the Bhutanese delegation acknowledged the Japanese assistance of USD 73.53M in the 11th Plan, which has benefited in the country’s socio economic development.

Japan’s assistance to Bhutan is focused in the sectors of agriculture and rural economy, infrastructure development, social development and strengthening good governance. There are also three funding windows  – the grant aid scheme, technical cooperation and grass root projects besides other adhoc projects.

The Japanese delegation announced that 353 power tillers would reach the country by the end of this year. Officials from the Gross National Happiness Commission acknowledged that Bhutan has received 3,589 power tillers since the inception of KR-II grant in 1983 and that the government has proposed for another 400 to enhance farm mechanisation.

In the field of health, the government has proposed infrastructure for radio imaging, blood transfusion centres and infection control centres in six regional, national and dzongkhag health centres.

The Bhutanese delegation also proposed for a grant of Nu 250M for the restoration of Budhini Bridge, which connects eight gewogs of Samtse to the Dzongkhag administration and the rest of the country. A member from the Bhutanese delegation said that the bridge was washed away in a flood last year and that the department of roads has come up with a short-term measure with a temporary bypass road, which is not reliable.

Another proposal Bhutan made was regarding the improvement of machinery and equipment for maintenance of rural agricultural road. A GNHC official informed that machinery and equipment received from Japan earlier has contributed to construction of 3,193km of farm roads out of the targeted 8,396km.

“However, the existing fleet of machinery including the ones received during the third phase will not be enough to support the existing and new farm roads maintenance requirement, which is about 2,500km,” she said.

A request for study, design and implementation of riverbank erosion control measures along the Kurichu River in Gyalposhing town was also made. This, the official said will result in a safe and harmonious town in Gyalposhing, which has the potential to create jobs and provide economic opportunities.

Japanese assistance will also be sought to develop a new Fablab at the College of Science and Technology in Phuentsholing. The proposal includes design and development of fablab, training of trainers on digital fabrication, curriculum development and coordination.

The minister counselor updated the delegates on the ongoing projects and remained affirmative on most of the proposals.

Officials from GNHC presented the outline of the 12th Plan along with fiscal projections.

It is estimated that the capital expenditure will cost the country Nu 115B while the current expenditure is likely to increase to Nu 189B from Nu 185B in the current Plan.

Even after domestic revenue covering the entire current expenditure and some portion of the capital expenditure, the country is likely to face a resource gap of Nu 44B, which is expected to cover from grant and loans.  The grant portion is estimated at Nu 54B.

Both sides appreciated efforts that were put in to iron out issues that lingered from the past meetings, including the visa procedures for the Japanese volunteers.

While the Japanese delegation commended Bhutan’s progress and efforts made to achieve its last mile toward LDC graduation, the director general of the bilateral department said that Bhutan do not wish to fall back in the LDC trap after graduation. For this to materialise, he said that the country would require further assistance.

Diplomatic relation between Japan and Bhutan was established in March 1986.

This article first appeared on Kuensel by Tshering Dorji

Related Posts

JICA signs agreements with GNHC and REC

Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Royal Education Council (REC), and Japan International Cooperation Agency...

Aug 18, 2017 10:18

Bhutan Achieved 93% Youth Literacy Rate

93 percent of the students attend public schools, but the proportion of students attending public school decreases at...

Jan 13, 2018 11:50

Japan Provides 353 More Power Tillers

The Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu handed over 353 sets of power tillers and accessories worth Nu 137...

Jan 11, 2018 14:18

JICA to Reconstruct Passang Zam in Gelephu

The deputy representative said that the replacement of the existing bridge will not only benefit the hydropower projects...

Jan 07, 2018 12:20

Multidimensional Poverty Drops Between 2012 and 2017

The Bhutan MPI monitors 13 indicators – food security, low education and inadequate sanitation, distributed across three...

Jan 04, 2018 11:19

Bhutan Signs UN’s Rapid Deployment Level Agreement

Bhutan is the first member country to sign a RDL. The agreement means that Bhutan has pledged to have a Force Protection...

Jan 01, 2018 13:16

Latest

News

Bhutan Achieved 93% Youth Literacy Rate

93 percent of the students attend public schools, but the proportion of students attending public school decreases at higher education...

Jan 13, 2018 11:50

Japan Provides 353 More Power Tillers

The Ambassador of Japan to Bhutan, Kenji Hiramatsu handed over 353 sets of power tillers and accessories worth Nu 137 million to the...

Jan 11, 2018 14:18

Features

Green House Initiative Benefits Highlanders

“With the introduction of green houses in the region, it’s much more convenient and cost saving for us because we don’t have to purchase...

Jan 21, 2018 13:50

Accreditation Of Colleges in Bhutan

An institution is graded on six core elements such as the curriculum, research and innovation, institutional linkage, management,...

Jan 16, 2018 11:05

Sports

Air Pistol Shooting in Bhutan

“I saw the sport on television. I did not know that it would be an interesting experience. It helps us improve breathing and concentration....

Jan 14, 2018 10:44

Martial Arts Gaining Popularity with Bhutanese Youth

The President of BIMA, Damber Singh Rai, said that the programme is aimed at engaging students during the winter break. “It is an exercise...

Jan 06, 2018 08:58

Business

Fish Centre Needs More Trout Feed

Mr Singye Tshering said there is a high demand for fish in the country and it is important to promote the culture among people.

Jan 20, 2018 09:23

Farmers in Samtse Ready To Reap Quinoa

Farmers in Samtse are gearing up to harvest quinoa, a new crop which they started cultivating on a small scale as a pilot project last year.

Jan 18, 2018 07:18

Travel

Duenmang Tshachu – A Popular Hotspring Known for its Healing Properties

Gothpo, 76, who has visited the tshachu, said that the Kheng Duenmang tshachu is a renowned hot spring with 'great healing powers'.

Jan 19, 2018 11:17

Snow Leopards – Ghosts of the Mountains

Called “ghosts of the mountains” by the Himalayan people because of their ability to mysteriously appear and disappear with equal stealth,...

Jan 17, 2018 10:30

Lifestyle

Reading Culture In Bhutan Improving

The public library has initiated a mobile bus book every Saturday for an hour and every Sunday for three to four hours making books...

Jan 22, 2018 07:40

Gyalsey, the Legacy of a Prince

In the 15 years of my life, the funniest yet saddest movie I have ever watched is Gyalsey, the legacy of a prince. Aired first in 2012, this...

Jan 09, 2018 07:10

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!