On 15th July 2020, India and Bhutan opened a new trade route between Jaigaon in West Bengal and Ahlay, Pasakha in Bhutan to establish easy connectivity and to increase trade between India and Bhutan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
i.The movement of industrial raw materials and goods from India to Pasakha Industrial Estate increases the traffic in the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route.
ii.To reduce the issues regarding the traffic, the temporary access for the movement of vehicles carrying goods and commodities from India into Bhutan is provided.
iii.This trade route is expected to increase the bilateral trade and commerce between India and Bhutan.
Trade between India and Bhutan:
i.Bhutan’s largest trading partner is India and the bilateral trade stood at Rs.9227 crores in 2018.
ii.Bhutan imports mineral products, machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipments, base metals, vehicles, vegetable products, plastics and articles from India
iii.India imports electricity, portland cement, dolomite, timber and wood products, potatoes, cardamom and fruit products from Bhutan.
Relation Between India & Bhutan:
i.The treaty of friendship and cooperation, the framework of the bilateral relation between India and Bhutan was revised in February 2007.
ii.India and Bhutan (Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited and Bhutan Government) signed a pact for the construction of 600 MW Kholongchhu project in Thimphu, the first hydropower joint venture in Bhutan.
Prime Minister– Lotay Tshering
Currency– Bhutanese Ngultrum