India-Bhutan buyer-seller meet to build on bilateral business and trade

India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ foreign policy is finding resonance in industry efforts to ramp up trade and bilateral relations with countries in India’s close proximity

Nov 17, 2021
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India-Bhutan flags (File)

India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ foreign policy is finding resonance in industry efforts to ramp up trade and bilateral relations with countries in India’s close proximity. Industry body PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry in association with Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Tuesday launched the India-Bhutan Buyers Sellers Meet in virtual mode from 16-18 November 2021 to further strengthen the relationship and promote a vivid range of business opportunities and trade windows that both the countries will benefit from, UNI news agency said.

India is Bhutan’s largest export market, the most important trade partner accounting for 50% of Bhutan’s trade and one of the top foreign investors in the country while Bhutan has been pivotal to the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ and the ‘Act-East Policy’. This is facilitated by the geographical proximity of both the countries and absence of any customs duty of Indian products. Tandin Wangchuk, President, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) and Pradeep Multani, President, PHDCCI agreed that the long-standing friendship between India and Bhutan has been further strengthened by bilateral trade and investment opportunities.

“India and Bhutan have a lot in common to synergize economic cooperation between the two regions. Efforts should be channelised towards identifying and building upon the complementarities between the economies,” said Multani. Ann Haokip, First Secretary (Commerce), Embassy of India, Bhutan added that recent developments such as the opening of new trade routes and inclusion of new agri-products from Bhutanese exporters are sure to enhance the bilateral trade windows.

Ugen Chozom, Charge d' Affaires, Royal Bhutanese Embassy, New Delhi, said that even during the first and second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, trade between India and Bhutan was not drastically impacted. India’s recovery and vision to reach the $ 5 trillion economy will also be beneficial for countries such as Bhutan. India’s developing fintech and digital transaction methods like BHIM UPI have facilitated in making trade transaction safer and easy for specially for India–Bhutan traders.

(SAM)