H.E. Tshering Gyaltshen Penjor
Ambassador of Kingdom of Bhutan to Kuwait
On the occasion of celebrating the 113th National Day of the Kingdom of Bhutan on Thursday, 17 December, the Bhutanese Ambassador released a statement, which read:
On this historic day of 17th December, we in Bhutan commemorate the election of His Majesty Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary King of a united Bhutan in 1907. The commemoration of this day also serves to remind us of the profound sacrifices made by our forefathers in handing over a strong, sovereign and peaceful nation for future generations. It is a day that all Bhutanese pay tribute to our successive monarchs who have provided extraordinary leadership and made the happiness of the people their overarching priority.
Bhutan perhaps is the only country in the world to measure development not by economic growth but by Gross National Happiness (GNH). A development philosophy introduced by His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme SIngye Wangchuck to measure people’s quality of life, and makes sure that material and spiritual development happen together. The philosophy of GNH is grounded in four pillars : sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, environmental conservation, promotion of culture and enhancement of good governance.
Guided by our development philosophy of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan has enjoyed peace, prosperity, and harmony for over a century. Today, in a fast changing world, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of sustainable development.
- With an average annual growth of 7.4 percent over the past two decades, Bhutan is one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Our GDP per capita has tripled over the last 15 years. By 2023, Bhutan will officially graduate from the category of LDCs.
- With our traditional values embedded in our daily lives, our rich cultural heritage continues to flourish even as we embrace the imperatives of globalization.
- With our strong environmental ethics backed by a constitutional mandate to maintain at least 60 percent of our land as forest, Bhutan serves as a major carbon sink for the entire world. It is the only country to become carbon negative.
- As a member of the global community, Bhutan is strongly committed to UN peacekeeping efforts around the world. Having joined the fraternity of troop contributing countries in 2014, Bhutan was the first country to sign the Rapid Deployment Level agreement with the UN for peacekeeping. Our pledged contingent is ready to be deployed to serve United Nations interests unconditionally.
Our achievements are a testimony of the farsighted vision and leadership of our Kings, the commitment of our Government and people towards our common goal of Gross National Happiness, and the strong collaboration with our development partners around the world. We have no doubt that many challenges remain. However, with the guidance of His Majesty the King, a strong democratic system in place and the continued support of our development partners, we look to the future with enthusiasm and confidence.
Bilateral relations between Bhutan and Kuwait began with the opening of a Consulate on May 23, 1983. The fact that Bhutan established its third resident Embassy in Kuwait is a clear political significance and testimony to the high value we place on our diplomatic relations with the State of Kuwait. Close ties of friendship, goodwill and understanding have characterized the deep rooted Bhutan-Kuwait relations. We are grateful for the valuable contributions that Kuwait has made to our development. The support of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, which commenced operations in Bhutan in 1983, laid the foundations for our industrial development and has significantly contributed to our extraordinary social and economic progress.
The several bilateral visits between our two countries at the highest political levels and the excellent cooperation in the bilateral and multilateral arena are a testimony to the special bonds of goodwill and friendship nurtured by our leaders over the years. The latest visit was the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck, Special Envoy of His Majesty the King of Bhutan to Kuwait from 18-20 October 2020 to pay tribute to His Highness late Amir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
May I avail this opportunity to convey the warmest greetings and highest respects of His Majesty the King of Bhutan to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. We remain forever grateful for their continued guidance, assistance and support in strengthening our Bhutan-Kuwait bilateral relations.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in the State of Kuwait, will not hold a reception to celebrate the National Day, but I would like to extend my heartfelt felicitations and Tashi Delek to all our Bhutanese nationals working in Kuwait and GCC countries and wish them a Happy National Day !