Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay accompanied by Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk and senior officials from RGoB arrived in West Bengal’s capital city, Kolkata on 6th January. The Prime Minister attended the inaugural session of ‘Bengal Global Business Summit 2016’ on January 8 and delivered a keynote address during the event.
Lyonchhen and the delegation were extended a warm welcome by Mr. Amit Mitra, Finance Minister of West Bengal and other dignitaries from the Government of West Bengal along with officials from the Royal Bhutanese Consulate General upon arrival at Subash Chandra Bose International Airport.
The Prime Minister met and interacted with the staff at Royal Bhutanese Consulate General House in Dum Dum on the 6th January afternoon. The consulate looks after overall coordination and Bhutan’s relation with the states of West Bengal and Assam in India.
Later, the Bhutanese delegation paid a visit to the historic institution of ‘The Asiatic Society’, which was founded in 1784. The place houses a century-year-old brass statue of Dharma Raja Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and numerous ancient Buddhist manuscripts.
In the evening, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee called upon the Prime Minister at ITC Sonar. Lyonchhen thanked CM Banerjee for the cordial welcome and kind hospitality accorded to him and the delegation. He conveyed that he was very happy to have had the opportunity to meet the CM again.
Further, His Excellency conveyed that her visit to Bhutan in October last year reinforced the close bonds of friendship, goodwill and cooperation that define Bhutan – West Bengal relations. Lyonchhen also expressed that he was extremely delighted to visit her renowned vibrant state.
Meanwhile, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) hosted a reception dinner in honour of Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk and the Bhutanese delegation at Oberoi Grand in Kolkata. His Excellency thanked ICC for their gracious welcome and stated that he looked forward to working in close cooperation with the organization toward further strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk and the Bhutanese delegation paid a courtesy call on H.E. Keshari Nath Tripathi, Governor of West Bengal at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata the 7th January afternoon.
The leaders commended Bhutan and India’s exemplary relationship and bilateral cooperation, which has proved to be greatly beneficial in promoting economic and commercial ventures between the two countries.
Lyonchhen expressed that Bhutan attaches high importance to its relations with West Bengal, an immediate and a friendly neighboring Indian state. His Excellency also said that the two sides would only benefit from collaborating in all areas of mutual interest. He said, today, Bhutan-India friendship is looked upon as an excellent example of how two nations despite their differences in size and population can enjoy a relationship that is mutually beneficial.
Meanwhile, the delegation also visited Dakineshwar and Kalighat temples in the city. Lyonchhen and the officials offered prayers and paid respects to two of the most holy shrines of Goddess Kali in the country.
Later on the evening of 7th January, the Prime Minister attended a dinner as the Guest of Honor, hosted by the Chief Minister of West Bengal at the Eco-Tourism Park.