Lyonchhen’s visit to ADB, Philippines.

Press Release

Sub: Lyonchhen’s visit to ADB, Manila, Philippines

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay, visited ADB’s headquarters in Manila, Philippines on 5

September 2014 on the invitation extended by ADB President Takehiko Nakao.

During the visit, Hon’ble Lyonchhen met with the ADB Board colloquium and addressed

on Board Colloquium: “Three Decades of Development Partnership Between Bhutan and

ADB”. Hon’ble Lyonchhen thanked the Board for their support and the forum provided

an opportunity to clarify on some issues raised by the Board.

Hon’ble Lyonchhen also addressed ADB’s staff as part of its Eminent Speaker Forum on

“Bhutan’s Economic Vision: Prosperity for All” and highlighted on the Government’s

priorities in the areas of tourism, energy, small and cottage industries and mining.

During the visit, Lyonchhen also launched a book entitled “20th by 2020: Bhutan’s drive

for improved governance with the Royal Audit Authority and Anti-corruption


ADB President assured Bhutan of ADB’s continued support. He highlighted that ADB’s

2014-2018 Country Partnership Strategy for Bhutan approved in July 2014 will focus on

transport, energy, urban development, and finance. It will also continue to provide

technical assistance for skills development and water resource management. The newly

established ADB Resident Office in Bhutan is expected to deepen the relationship

between ADB and Bhutan. Hon’ble Lyonchhen thanked for ADB’s financial and

technical support and its contribution to Bhutan’s socio-economic development.

During the visit, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Lyonpo Namgay Dorji and ADB President

signed a loan and a grant agreement of $50.35 million for South Asia Sub regional

Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Project.

Although the visit was brief, it was successful, as it has brought ADB and Bhutan closer

by Lyonchhen’s meeting with the Board and the senior management of the ADB and

provided an excellent opportunity to clearly spell out the priorities of the Government.

This should facilitate better cooperation and targeted development intervention by the

ADB based on the Government priorities.

The ADB is a multilateral development finance institution, which was established in

1966 with 67 member countries. ADB’s views and interests are represented by a Board of

Governors and Manila-based Board of Directors. There are 12 Board of Directors who

represent the 67 member countries of ADB. ADB’s vision is an “Asia and Pacific region

free of poverty”. Its mission is to help its developing member countries (DMCs)

substantially reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of their people.

Bhutan became a member of ADB in 1982 and is in the same constituency as

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Lao PDR, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Since joining

ADB in 1982, Bhutan had received $337.46 million through 29 loans, $135.39 million

for 9 grants, and $54.89 million for 129 technical assistance projects, as of the end of

2013. ADB is presently, Bhutan’s largest multilateral development partner.

Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay assumes office.

Press Release


His Excellency Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay formally assumed office at the Gyalyong Tshogkhang on 29thJuly, 2013. Prior to joining the office, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers visited Punakha yesterday to receive blessings from The Holy Zhabdrung’s Machen. Lyonchhen and the Cabinet Ministers also paid a visit to Dechenphug Lhakhang this morning.


Soon after assuming office, His Excellency Shri V.P. Haran, Ambassador of India to Bhutan paid a courtesy call to Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay at the Gyalyong Tshogkhang today morning. The Indian Ambassador was also introduced to the newly formed Cabinet Ministers.

Lyonchhen and the Indian Ambassador discussed wide range of issues including the recent subsidy withdrawal by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

On behalf of the people and the Royal Government of Bhutan, Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay requested Shri V.P. Haran to restore the subsidies which were removed earlier this month. Indian Ambassador informed and conveyed that the Government of India will restore all subsidies from the first week of August this year.


Ambassador V.P Haran also conveyed the Indian Government’s invitation for Lyonchhen’s visit to India. Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay thanked, accepted, and assured that he would make a visit to India at the earliest.

Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, inaugurated the river diversion for construction of Punatsangchhu-II

The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, inaugurated the river diversion for construction of Punatsangchhu-II


The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, inaugurated the river diversion for construction of Punatsangchhu-II Dam on 20 March, 2013.


The Chief Advisor of the Interim Government, Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, inaugurated the river diversion for construction of Punatsangchhu-II Dam

Having been a keen observer of hydropower development in the country right from the construction of the Chukha Hydropower Project in the late 1970s, Tala, Basochu and Kurichu hydropower projects, Lyonpo said that Bhutan, fortunately is bestowed with large hydropower potential, estimated at more than 30,000 MW, often referred to as white gold and the backbone of the Bhutanese economy.

“Today, the hydropower sector provides more than 27% of the country’s revenue and about 18% of GDP,” Lyonpo said adding that despite the challenges involved are many and complex such as mitigating impacts on environment & ecology, coping with hydro-metrological changes and adverse geological & geotechnical uncertainties, the Royal Government is committed to accelerating its hydropower development.

During the milestone event, Lyonpo signified the completion of diversion of Punatsangchhu River in time before the onset of the monsoon as an excellent achievement. The accomplishment has advanced the project commissioning schedule by six months.

“I would like to congratulate the Project Authority, management officials and staff of Punatsangchhu-II Project and its contractors, their consultants WAPCOS and concerned Government of India organizations such as Central Water Commission, Central Electric Authority and Geological Survey of India. Their valuable expertise has been very essential for the speedy and quality execution of project works,” Lyonpo attributed.

At the event, Lyonpo told the esteemed gathering that the Royal Government of Bhutan would not have been able to embark on its ambitious programme to develop its vast hydropower potential without the friendship, understanding and unwavering support of the Government and people of India. Lyonpo also informed that during his visit to Thimphu a few days ago, H.E Shri Ranjan Mathai, Foreign Secretary of India, assured India would do everything possible to ensure the realization of 10000 MW of hydropower by the year 2020.

“This, as the Foreign Secretary said, will not only strengthen Bhutan’s economy and drive towards economic self-reliance, but will also enhance the energy security of our two countries whose destinies are inextricably linked,” Lyonpo said and took the opportunity to convey the deepest gratitude of the Government and people of Bhutan to the Government and people of India for the unflinching support to our hydropower as well as overall socio-economic programme.

“Bhutan is proud that the friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India is today a shining example of relations between neighbors,” Lyonpo added.