Bhutan King Wangchuck meets PM, signs several agreements

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New Delhi, Dec. 22 (ANI): Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Tuesday signed agreements in various sectors, including water resources to civil aviation.

The 29-year-old Bhutanese sovereign is on his first foreign visit since his formal coronation in November 2008.

"This is a reflection of the importance that Bhutan attaches to Indo-Bhutan friendship and at the same time it is also reflection of the commitment that I have towards further strengthening the cooperation and the friendship that exists between our two countries," Wangchuck said.

On Tuesday, Wangchuck began his programme with a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He then proceeded with a memorial of Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat.

Wangchuck also met Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, who had called upon him at Taj Hotel.

He is also slated to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Vice President Hamid Ansari.

India and Bhutan share a historic friendship and India has been the forerunner in providing assistance towards Bhutan's development.

India will help Bhutan in setting up ten projects by 2020 to generate 11,000 MW of hydroelectric power.

Bhutan, with a population under 700,000 people, is becoming an important source of hydroelectric power for India.

It sells power to India at a subsidised rate in return for financial help in building hydroelectric plants.

The new Bhutanese government is aiming for annual economic growth of around nine percent over the next decade, and much of this will come from Indian investment. (ANI)

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