Vietnam keen to boost comprehensive relations with Bhutan: PM

10:38 | 15/05/2019 Cooperation

Vietnam wants to promote comprehensive relations with Bhutan, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a reception for visiting Chairman of the National Council (Upper House) of Bhutan Tashi Dorji in Hanoi on May 13.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chairman of the National Council of Bhutan Tashi Dorji - Photo: VGP

He said the two countries have a lot of historical, cultural, and religious similarities, so they are able to cooperate and share experience in national building and development. The PM congratulated Bhutan on the achievements it has gained over the years. Despite its small population, Bhutan prides itself on having one of the highest happiness indexes in the world, he said.

Chairman Tashi Dorji highly appreciated Vietnam’s organization of the United Nations Day of Vesak 2019 celebration.

He said Bhutan has set up diplomatic relations with 36 countries in the world, including Vietnam. The two sides share many similarities in landscape, religion, and people, which are favourable conditions for developing the bilateral ties, he added. Bhutan is working closely with Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to set up a bilateral consultation mechanism between the two foreign ministries. He added that Bhutan is also pushing ahead with agricultural reform and mechanisation, hoping to collaborate with Vietnam in agriculture, including importing farming machines from Vietnam and learning from the country’s experience in developing agriculture.

Dorji suggested increasing all-level delegation exchanges between the two sides and noted that the number of Vietnamese tourists to Bhutan is increasing.

PM Phuc hailed the opinions of the Bhutan chairman and 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 mechanism between the two foreign ministries to help promote cooperation in various fields.

As bilateral trade remains modest, the PM suggested the two countries enhance cooperation 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 conducting direct charter flights to tap into their cultural similarities, especially Buddhism.

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

He also called on Bhutan to continue supporting and cooperating closely with Vietnam to ensure consensus at international and regional organisations which both are members to.