Bhutan highlights climate change, geopolitical tensions

Lyonpo Namgay Tshering called the widening trade aspect the third aspect that bothers him…reports Asian Lite News

Bhutan Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Tshering on Thursday said that three important aspects that linger around his mind are geopolitical tensions around the world, climate change and the widening trade aspect. In his remarks at the inaugural session of the Asia Economic Dialogue 2023 in Pune, he said that growth in India will directly or indirectly translate or have a cascading effect on a small country like Bhutan.

“I think for Bhutan, as a small developing nation challenged with the topographical difficulties and I mean to say we are landlocked and specially because of the COVID in the post-pandemic world, the three important aspects that actually lingers around my mind that actually disturbs me and sometimes I see that as an opportunity to grow from strength to strength,” Lyonpo Namgay Tshering said. “But, sometimes I see that as a troublemaker for the small developing nation like Bhutan and the first and the foremost is the geopolitical tensions around the world and case in point the ongoing Ukraine war which has actually impacted and severely disrupted the supply chain,” he added.

Tshering stressed that Bhutan as a small economy is susceptible to injected form of inflation and called it a serious concern. He made the statement in response to a question regarding three major issues that animate his thinking on a daily-to-daily basis.

“This has actually resulted in Bhutan as a small economy and most importantly we being largely import-driven economy, we are susceptible to, you know like the injected form of inflation and which has caused a macro-economic imbalance and this is a serious concern that we don’t see an affront intervention or response to that,” Tshering said.

“But, I think having a deal with a lot of economic resilience and a lot of innovations like India, I think we are very much positive that the growth in India will directly or indirectly translate or have a cascading effect into a small economy like us,” he added.

He said that climate change has become a kind of universal phenomenon. He stressed that the biggest challenge for Bhutan in terms of climate change effect is the glacial lake outburst.

“Second aspect that I see is the climate change. I think climate change has become a kind of a universal phenomenon, the challenge whether the sea is sea-locked or landlocked,” Bhutan Finance Minister said.

“For instance in Bhutan, we always say that we always praise ourselves saying that we are not carbon neutral but we are carbon negative,” he further said.

Lyonpo Namgay Tshering called the widening trade aspect the third aspect that bothers him.

He said, “Third important aspect that bothers me these days is the widening trade aspect that’s also a macroeconomic imbalance so basically we are I think India being our largest trading partner with the presence of Honourable Minister S Jaishankar here India has been doing wonderful you know facilitating in every sphere for Bhutan”

“But, further I think there are scoops where you know country like Bhutan needs to discuss, dive deeper into understanding lot of problems occuring along the borders with regard to non-tariff barriers so that I thought I will be raising at a different level with the honourable ministers from the government of India and ofcourse honourable S Jaishankar,” he added.

In his remarks, Bhutan’s Finance Minister also congratulated India on assuming G20 Presidency. He said, “I think before I jump onto to the expectations, I would like to with a lot of convention I would like to glaringly make a mention here that I personally, Bhutan does not have an inch of doubt on the capability of India to chair this world premier forum bringing more leaders and the thinkers to deliberate on the world orders.”

Notably, the inaugural Session of the Dialogue was a conversation between External Affairs Minister Jaishankar, Lyonpo Namgay Tshering and Maldives Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer. The Asia Economic Dialogue (AED) is the Ministry’s annual flagship event on Geoeconomics, co-hosted in collaboration with Pune International Centre. The 7th edition of the Asia Economic Dialogue is being held from 23-25 February 2023 in Pune. (ANI)

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