It is my honour and pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all development partners to the 13th Round Table Meeting (RTM) in Thimphu, on 15th and 16th March, 2017.
As the highest forum for policy dialogue and aid coordination between the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) and its development partners, the RTM is an event of great importance. It is held twice over the course of a Five Year Plan (FYP) period, and is an occasion for us to discuss common interest and issues, and to strengthen cooperation.
We are now more than halfway through our 11th FYP (2014-2018), and are in the process of formulating and finalizing the 12th FYP (2018-2023). The 13th RTM therefore presents an excellent opportunity for us to review our progress to date, the remaining challenges, and future plans and priorities.
With the theme “Gross National Happiness for the Global Goals”, the 13th RTM is also an opportune time for us to review the synergies in vision between Bhutan’s cherished Gross National Happiness and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Goals (SDGs). As the global community sets course towards achievement of SDGs, we are also looking to optimize opportunities for their implementation including through strengthened partnerships.
Our development partners will have and opportunity to observe and assess Bhutan’s socioeconomic development progress and challenges through local field visits over the course of the event. It will allow us in Bhutan to showcase on-the-ground impact of the most generous and critical support accorded to us by our development partners over the years and decades, and for us to convey our deep gratitude and appreciation.
As always, we anticipate participation at the highest level from our bilateral and multilateral development partners, and from international financial institutions.
We look forward to welcoming you to Bhutan soon.