13th RTM concludes highlighting LDC graduation, innovation and the 12th FYP

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“Bhutan, as small as it may be, could be an innovation hub”, said Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay as he delivered his Round Table Meeting (RTM) closing remarks. Lyonchen further added that innovation, such the Gross National Happiness (GNH) survey, need to be celebrated and used for, “Our own good but also share it with the rest of the world and we also need to adapt innovation from other countries as well.

UNDP Regional Director, Haoliang Xu also reiterated that there is a need of innovation as it was highlighted time and again during the meeting.

With regard to Bhutan’s LDC graduation, Lyonchen said, “I am excited for Bhutan to graduate from being an LDC. The world needs success stories”, adding that it also is a testimony of having achieved a lot.

Addressing other development partners as the Co-Chair for the RTM, Haoliang Xu said, “Now is not the time to withdraw support”, and requested that development partners keep supporting Bhutan as the country could go through financial gaps while graduating from the LDC status.

Referring to the Prime Minister’s statement that, “The 12th Plan must be the last mile before Bhutan’s LDC graduation”, Haoliang Xu said that the UN would, “Walk the last mile before LDC graduation.”

During the two-day session, discussions were also held on how the 12th Five Year Plan could be financed and implemented. Development partners highlighted emerging challenges that Bhutan is facing on issues such as urbanization, youth unemployment, economic diversification and human wildlife conflict.

During the second session of the RTM, most of the discussions were held based on the upcoming 12th Five Year Plan, as expressed by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay that, “The 12th Five Year Plan must be the last mile before Bhutan’s LDC graduation.” On behalf of the United Nations, Haoliang assured that the UN would, “Walk the last mile.”

Lyonpo Damcho Dorji, Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) further stressed that, “We are looking at the 12th plan as the last mile before LDC graduation that is sustainable and irreversible.”

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