King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden shared their experience of their second visit in the country. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf said that 26 years ago, Their Majesties made their first visit in the country, whereby they started building up a relationship between the two countries.
King Gustaf said that it was a pleasure to make a second visit where he can see dramatic changes in the country, with a lot of development.
“During our visit, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo was encouraging the country in the area of development, and now in our second visit in Bhutan, we come with a business delegation from Sweden so that we can start a new business to further enhance the relation between the two countries,” King Gustaf said.
Queen Silvia said that they are back for the second time, whereby during this time, they got an opportunity to meet with almost all the Royal Family members. Her Majesty also highlighted the hard work done by the Royal Family for the development of the country.
“One of the Queen Mothers has a project in a village working with the youth and villagers in the country, and I am overwhelmed because the project is initiated to avoid rural urban migration,” Queen Silvia said, adding that it is must to keep the rural areas alive even with developments in the city.
“We are also very happy to have met HRH the Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck, as, it was an honor to see the beautiful and charming prince of Bhutan,” Her Majesty Queen Silvia said.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, during an inaugural session of Bhutan-Sweden cooperation forum said the visit reinforces the bonds of friendship between the two countries, which Their Majesties have personally contributed immensely towards strengthening since a private visit to Bhutan in 1993.
He said, “I am most confident that this visit will further enhance the close ties between the Royal Families of our two countries, promote greater understanding between the two peoples, and open up avenues for cooperation and collaboration at various levels.”
He also said that the forum is probably the largest exchange between the people of the two countries yet, and it is an opportunity to build upon the already existing cooperation and explore more common grounds for collaboration.
He said, “Bhutan and Sweden have a strong foundation for greater cooperation. That foundation is provided by our shared values, the most obvious and fundamental being our strong emphasis on social welfare, sustainability and conservation of environment.”
For the benefit of the business representatives, Lyonchhen reiterate some of the comparative advantages that Bhutan offers to foreign investors. “We have a workforce that is well educated; we have clean, cheap and abundant energy; we have economic and FDI policies that are business-friendly; we have peace and stability; and, most importantly, we have free access to India’s huge market,” he added.
On the first day of the visit, The King and Queen of Sweden, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia, were welcomed by His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen at the Tashichhodzong.
The King and Queen of Sweden were escorted in a traditional chipdrel ceremony into the Tashichhodzong, where there was a guard of honour.
This was followed by a Royal Audience at the Throne Room.
His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen hosted a private dinner at the Lingkana Palace in the evening.
On the second day, Their Majesties inaugurated Bhutan-Sweden cooperation forum followed by a visit to Royal Textile Academy, and then Kuensel Phodrang.
On the third day, Their Majesties visited Sangchen Dorji Lhundrup Choeling Nunnery in Wolathang, Punakha, and Punakha Dzong followed by a visit to Bjara village under Toedwong gewog where a presentation was done on water pumps to the farmers. The Royal couple will be leaving today.