Bhutan-Bengal ties go beyond boundaries, MoEA Minister

The Minister for Economic Affairs Loknath Sharma speaking at the sixth Global Business Summit (BGBS) held on 20-21 April in Kolkata in West Bengal

Bengal Global Business Summit 2022-‘Bengal means Business’

SANGAY RABTEN

Thimphu

The Minister for Economic Affairs, Loknath Sharma, during the sixth Bengal Global Business Summit held on 20-21 April, said West Bengal is a very crucial partner and a close ally of Bhutan. 

The two-day Summit was hosted by Biswa Bangla Convention Centre at New Town, Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Lyonpo Loknath said Bhutan shares about 300 km borders with West Bengal and that it is needless to elaborate on bilateral relationship as the two share cordial relationships beyond geographical boundaries. 

Bhutan has about 90 percent trade with India of which 60 percent is with West Bengal. Hence, the Minister said, “West Bengal is inseparable from Bhutan.” 

Speaking to Bhutan Times, the minister said he appreciates West Bengal state’s growth and the changes on infrastructure that has been happening over the years.

The Minister added that the development agenda pursued in the state and other new collaborations with industrialists to manufacture food and non-food manufacturing industries, besides focusing on solar energy parks, are commendable.

“I emphasized on the close trade link between West Bengal and Bhutan and cooperation rendered by them. Any new development there tickles down to Bhutan as well for getting goods at lesser cost and logistics,” the Minister said, adding that close collaboration and relationship will also improve.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamta Banerjee said that her state is the first to organize a physical business summit since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“It is the gateway to eastern and north-eastern India, neighbouring Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal as well as South East Asia,” she said. 

The summit was organized to showcase the world that ‘Bengal Means Business’ and to explore more business opportunities, and forge partnership and collaboration.

The sixth edition of the summit was hosted after a hiatus of two years due to the COVID pandemic. The fifth edition of the summit took place before the pandemic in 2019. 

About 4,300 delegates from 42 countries attended the summit which included private investors and foreign dignitaries. 

Bhutan is one of the partner countries among Australia, United States, UK, Japan, Poland, Finland, Germany, Bangladesh, Italy, Norway, New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam, Netherland, Morocco and others. 

Bengal Global Business Summit is a platform for forging alliances to tie up partnerships and acquire a clear vision of the opportunities that the state provides for expanding business apart from making new investments and  setting up green field manufacturing projects.