IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


Contemporary Regional Developments in Bhutan

21st - 27th February
  • Bhutan, placed 26, heads the South Asia region in terms of least corrupt followed by India (81), Sri Lanka (91), the Maldives (112), Pakistan (117), Nepal (122) and Bangladesh (143). The results of Transparency International (TI)’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index continue to show a high variance in public sector corruption across the Asia Pacific region.
    (Sunday Times, February 22, 2018)
21st - 27th February
  • Bhutan, China to hold boundary talks next month : Bhutan and China will hold the 25th round of their boundary talks in Thimphu next month. The teams will be led by Bhutanese Foreign Minister Lyonpo Damcho Dorji and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou. The boundary talks were cancelled last year in the wake of the Doklam crisis, when Indian and Chinese troops faced off in the remote Himalayan plateau for 73 days in territory claimed by both Bhutan and China. The standoff ended in August with troops from both sides withdrawing to their previous positions and China removing road-building equipment.
    (Indian Express: 24.2.2018)
  • Bhutan Firmly With India On Doklam, Indian Government Tells Parliamentary Panel: Claiming that there had been no troop build-up by China in Doklam since its standoff with India ended in August last year, top government officials told a parliamentary panel that India was not concerned about what happens within Chinese territory located north of Doklam. Raising the issue at a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on external affairs, Rahul Gandhi asked what China's intention was with regard to Doklam and also wanted to know what the Indian government was doing with respect to the structures being built by the Chinese beyond 30 kilometres of Doklam, sources said. The panel that is headed by Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor was briefed by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra. Last month, clear satellite images indicated a Chinese buildup within the region that Bhutan claims as its own. Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam from June 16 last year after India stopped the building of a road in the disputed tri-junction by the Chinese army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.
14th - 20th February
  • Indian Army Chief, NSA, FS visited Bhutan , discussed strategic issues; Chief General Bipin Rawat, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval quietly travelled to Bhutan earlier this month on a rare visit during which they held extensive talks with the top brass of the Bhutanese leadership on strategic issues including the situation in Doklam, authoritative government sources said.
    (Times of India 18.2.2018)
5th - 13th February
  • Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh to be part of India’s tiger census.
  • Adding another feather to 50 years of diplomatic relations, Bhutan opened its second consulate office in eastern India on February 2, 2018 at Panjabari in Guwahati, Assam. Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay, who attended the Global Investors Summit 2018 hosted by Assam, was present at the inaugural ceremony. The office was inaugurated jointly by Bhutan’s Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji and Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal.
    (The Diplomat; 8.2.2018)
30th Jan - 4th February
  • Bhutan has set up a consulate office in Guwahati becoming second country after Bangladesh to set up office in Assam. Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dasho Tshering Tobgay on 3rd February said that India is not big brother to Bhutan but it is older sibling while Bhutan is younger sibling. Tobgay who was in Guwahati on Saturday while addressing the inaugural session of Advantage Assam - Global Investors Summit 2018, in Guwahati said that the India and Bhutan shares a great bonding and friendship. He said, "India is not a big brother to us, it older sibling and we are younger sibling."
    (Economic Times, India Times)
  • Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay urged foreign investors to explore investment opportunities in Bhutan while speaking at the “Advantage Assam – Global Investors’ Summit, 2018” in Guwahati, Assam.Hundreds of business leaders including the Chief Managing Director of Reliance Industries Ltd, Mukesh Ambani, TATA Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran and Patanjali CEO Acharya Balakrishna attended the business summit. Addressing the gathering at the same programme, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Bhutan for opening the consulate in Guwahati and expressed hope that it would enhance connectivity and trade in the region.“I am happy to learn that the Royal Government of Bhutan has opened Bhutanese Consulate in Guwahati,” PM Modi said.