Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay completed a three day Europe tour from 2nd June 2015 to 4th June 2015 at the invitation of Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission.
Yesterday Lyonchhen called on met the EU President and exchanged views on further strengthening Bhutan-EU relations and other issues of mutual interest including development cooperation and climate change.
Lyonchhen also met separately with EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Mr. Christos Stylianides and EU Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development, Mr. Neven Mimica, and other senior EU officials. Lyonchhen discussed with them, among others, issues relating to disaster risk reduction, sustainable transport including electric vehicles and sought their support in these areas.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay on the last day of his visit to the European Union in Brussels took part in the High Level Panel on “A Climate Change Agreement: Towards Paris and Beyond”.
Lyonchhen highlighted the need for a concrete outcome from the Paris Conference later in the year. He also spoke about the threats facing Bhutan on account of global warming and the steps the government is taking to contribute to global efforts to address climate change. He mentioned the constitutional requirement for Bhutan to maintain 60% of its territory under forest cover for all times and the existing cover of 72%. He also mentioned the declaration by Bhutan in 2009 at COP 15 in Copenhagen to remain carbon neutral and how the country is presently carbon negative.
On the sidelines of the European Development Days meeting today, Lyonchhen met with Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and conveyed to Her Majesty the greetings of His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen.
On June 3rd Lyonchhen had held an interactive meeting with the Members of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with South Asia led by the Chairperson, Mrs. Jean Lambert. Mr. ElmarBrok, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament was also present.
Lyonchhen had wide ranging discussions with the Parliamentarians on various issues including on strengthening relations and cooperation between the Parliaments of Bhutan and the European Union.
Lyonchhen also met Mr. Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council and discussed Bhutan-European Union relations and in particular EU development aid to Bhutan. Lyonchhen thanked the President for the generous assistance extended to Bhutan since 1982.
On the first day of 2nd June Lyonchhen had separate meetings with the Honorary Consuls of Bhutan in Europe and representatives of the Friendship Associations, and with business interest groups in Europe. Lyonchhen thanked the Honorary Consuls for goodwill and support for Bhutan and requested them for their continued support in this regard.
Lyonchhen briefed the business representatives about business opportunities in Bhutan and requested them to explore investment opportunities in Bhutan.