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Summary: March 15, 2004: Commissioner Nielson to visit Bhutan, 15-18 March 2004 (Brussels)
Mr. Poul Nielson, European Commissioner for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, will visit the Kingdom of Bhutan from 15 to 18 March 2004. The visit takes place in the wake of important political, economic and social achievements in Bhutan and at the start of the country’s New Five-Year-Plan. The visit will offer Commissioner Nielson an opportunity to get a first hand appreciation of on-going efforts to improve the livelihood of the rural population and to discuss the way forward for EC co-operation including the implementation of the first EC Strategy Programme (2002-2006) for Bhutan.
During his visit Commissioner Nielson will meet His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Prime Minister Mr Lyonpo Jigmi Yoeser Thinley and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuck to discuss the country’s general political situation including its progress towards Constitutional Law and its reform and decentralisation process. The visit will also be an occasion to exchange views on regional and economic integration (SAARC) and on the promotion of regional stability, including the issue of uprooted people in Nepal.
In meetings with Minister of Finance Mr. Lyonpo Wangdi Norbu, Minister of Agriculture Mr. Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup and Minister of Trade Mr Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, Commissioner Nielson will review overall external assistance related to ongoing EC cooperation and with particular reference to Royal Government of Bhutan’s priorities for future EC country strategy from 2006 onwards. The EC has allocated € 15 million to Bhutan from 2002-06. Key areas of co-operation include renewable natural resources, health and trade development and export diversification.
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