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LDC graduation will not affect relationship with GoI: PM

Jigmi Wangdi

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering yesterday discussed the country’s recent graduation from the category of Least-developed country (LDC) to a developing country with media representatives at 49 Meet The Press in Thimphu yesterday.

While graduation is a noteworthy achievement for the nation, it also means that Bhutan will no longer be eligible for international aid and grants.

Lyonchhen said that the graduation would not affect the country’s ongoing relationship with the Government of India.

He acknowledged the significance of Bhutan’s graduation, celebrating it as a success story that the nation should be proud of. Nevertheless, he highlighted the importance of producing goods and services of higher quality as the nation moves towards exporting more products.

He said that if Bhutan does export its products to the European Union, tariffs will be applied based on the type of goods in question.

Looking forward to Bhutan’s future, Lyonchhen expressed determination to draw in foreign investors, citing the nation’s progress in achieving an 80 percent literacy rate and digitising its schools, adding that education focused on coding has been integrated into primary school curricula in preparation for Bhutan’s graduation.

The government, he said, is currently working towards joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Lyonpo Karma Dorji, Minister for Industry, Commerce, and Employment, said that joining the WTO would bring significant advantages to the country, such as foreign direct investment and secured international trading.

Bhutan’s relationship with 105 member countries, he said, would facilitate Bhutan’s WTO membership. Currently, there are 165 member countries in the WTO.