Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (August 18) said that no two other countries in the world understand each other so well or share as much like India and Bhutan. “And no two countries are such natural partners in bringing prosperity to their people.”
Addressing the students of the Royal University of Bhutan here, Modi asked them to work hard and take the Himalayan nation to great heights.
“The world today offers more opportunities than ever before. You have the power and potential to do extraordinary things, which will impact generations to come. Find your real calling and pursue it with full passion,” he told the audience which included ministers, lawmakers and senior officials.
Noting that there are several challenges ahead, he said, “For every challenge, we have young minds to find innovative solutions to overcome them. Let no limitation constrain you. I want to tell you all – there is no better time to be young than now.”
“As Bhutan soars high in its endeavours, your 1.3 billion Indian friends will not just look on and cheer you with pride and happiness. They will partner you, share with you and learn from you,” the prime minister said.
Further, he said that it is natural that the people of India and Bhutan experience great attachment to each other, adding that it was not just because of the two countries’ geographical locations. “Our history, culture and spiritual traditions have created unique and deep bonds between our people and the nations.”
Further, speaking about India’s development, the Prime Minister said, “Today, India is experiencing historic transformation in a wide range of sectors. India is eliminating poverty faster than ever before. The pace of infrastructure construction had doubled in the last five years. We have just pledged about $15 billion for next generation infrastructure.”
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He also added that India has one of the cheapest data connectivity in the world, which is empowering millions of its citizens. “India is home to biggest start-up ecosystems in the world. This is indeed a great time to innovate in India.”
Speaking about the spread of Buddhism, he said India is fortunate to be the land where Prince Siddhartha became Gautama Buddha, and from where the “light of his spiritual message and Buddhism spread all over the world.”
On Saturday, Modi held wide-ranging talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering during which the two leaders discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors.
Earlier in the day, he inspected a guard of honour during his ceremonial welcome at the Tashichhodzong Palace and received a red-carpet welcome at the Paro airport where he was received by the Bhutanese Prime Minister.
This is Modi’s first visit to the neighbouring landlocked country since the beginning of his second term as the Prime Minister.
(With inputs from agencies)