Czech Republic comes to Bhutan to build ties and offer aid and investment

A delegation from the Czech Republic spearheaded by the Deputy Foreign Minister arrived in the capital on a four-day visit on February 12. The visit is expected to deepen and strengthen the existing bilateral relations between two countries.

Apart from bilateral dialogue, the delegation will also look for the opportunity for exchange of high level visits, economic and development cooperation and collaboration in education and culture areas.

The Deputy Foreign Minister was accompanied by the Ambassador of Czech Republic accredited to Bhutan, Deputy Chief of Mission, and Third Secretary of the Czech Republic Embassy in New Delhi and business delegation comprising of companies from energy and civil aviation sectors.

During his visit to Bhutan, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Tomas Dub, called on the Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgye, Foreign Affairs Minister, Rinzin Dorji, Economic Minister Norbu Wangchuk, Education Minister Mingbo Drukpa, Home and Cultural Affairs Minister Damchoe Dorji and representatives

of Bhutanese authorities dealing with energy and civil aviation policy.

The press release from Office of Prime Minister stated that in the meeting with the Lyonchhen, the Czech delegation discussed on the areas pertaining to power generation through renewable sources of energy like solar and biomass, further development in tourism sector, education and other areas involving business cooperation.

Further, the release states Lyonchhen thanked to delegation on their support in areas of disaster management, education and cultural exchanges and requested Czech Republic to consider playing a bigger role in Bhutan’s development.

According to the press release from Embassy of Czech Republic, New Delhi, it reads, “Czech companies are seriously considering their investment in Bhutan in the fields such as hydropower, renewable energy, infrastructure, tourism, civil aviation or food processing, as their business opportunities gradually shrink on traditional western markets.”

According to the Ambassador of Czech Republic to Bhutan, Miloslav Stasek, the press release states that

various sectors of Bhutan economy hold tremendous opportunity, including setting up of special economic zones, dry ports and industrial townships in public private partnership mode.

Speaking at the press conference convened on Wednesday, “We want to fulfill the diplomatic relations in real activity,” Deputy Foreign Minister of Czech Republic said. Further, he spoke that the visits will make the people and the culture between two countries known to each other.

Ambassador of Czech Republic, Miloslav Stasek, talked on the future collaboration in the film industry and exchange of people among two countries. The area of focus for aid to Bhutan, Ambassador Stasek said, would be on the disaster management, green technology, civil aviation and education. In education he said that Czech government will open gateway to the Bhutanese students for scholarships to visit Czech Republic and pursue further studies. In regard to civil aviation aid he stated that pilots in Bhutanese aircrafts will be provided training at Czech Republic, deliver in providing lightning systems, navigation and radars, as well the

mobile airports which could be used in rural areas as in disaster management. Stasek assured that some of the projects would be start very soon this year.

The first time cultural exchange programs, the “Czech Castle” exhibition presenting a selection of 37 most interesting castles and chateaux of Bohemia and Moravia which depicts the unique beauty of Czech castles and the surrounding landscape was inaugurated at Royal Textile Academy and will be open till March 23. Bhutan will showcase the exhibition on textiles and artifacts in the National Museum of Czech Republic in Prague in autumn 2014. As well for the first time “Czech Film Festival” will be screened from February 14 to 16 on most successful and popular Czech films, “Kolja”, “Grapes” and “Little Girl Blue”.

The countries miles apart but shares a similar political history, Bhutan transformed into Constitutional Monarchy in 2008, Czech Republic got rid of Communism in 1989.

Bhutan and Czech Republic started diplomatic relations in December 2011. The Czech Republic has been the most active EU member states in Bhutan.

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