Hon’ble Prime Minister’s statement at the launch of South Asia Satellite (G-SAT9) by Government of India – Joint video conference of the SAARC Leaders held on 5 May 2017

Your Excellencies,

The launch of the South Asia Satellite today is an historic moment for the world. It is historic because this is the first time that a country has launched a satellite for the free use of its neighbors. The launch of this satellite is an impressive milestone in the history of the world; one that ushers in a new era of regional cooperation.

I congratulate the government and the people of India for successfully launching this important satellite, and would like to offer my thanks to their visionary leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for dedicating it for the common progress of all our countries in the South Asia region.

The global community is increasingly being driven by satellite services. They are used extensively to increase efficiency, expand connectivity and improve productivity. In fact, satellite-based communications have now become indispensible in every sector of activity, in both the private and public spheres of our lives.

That’s why the launch of this satellite- OUR satellite- augurs well for our region. This is especially beneficial for small countries like Bhutan; countries that have neither the technical know-how nor the resources to launch their own satellites.

In Bhutan, the services rendered by this satellite will expand broadcasting and communications; advance education and telemedicine; improve land management and urban planning; enhance environmental management and weather forecasting; and better-equip us to fight natural disasters.

In short, this satellite will help improve the happiness and wellbeing of our people.

The south Asia Satellite will also yield regional benefits. Better management of our forests and watersheds mean that the entire region will benefit from a healthier environment. In addition, the satellite will boost regional cooperation, encourage collaboration and provide a platform to address common challenges together.

This generous gift from India is an example of true friendship and cooperation. And it is bound to bring about the common progress and development of our region.

Thank you and Tashi Delek!

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