Vietnam, Bhutan Agree to Work on Opening Direct Air Route

Amidst the modest bilateral trade, the two countries agree to foster collaboration and work together for the opening of a direct air route in the time to come.

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An overview of the meeting. Photo: VNA
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang, welcomed the Queen Mother of Bhutan, Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, to Hanoi on December 28 for her first visit to Vietnam. Photo: VNA

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang hosted a reception for Queen Mother of Bhutan Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck in Hanoi on December 28, during which the host affirmed that Vietnam always attaches great importance to its friendship relations with Bhutan.

Welcoming the Bhutan Queen Mother’s visit to Vietnam for the first time, Hang said that although the two countries have set up their diplomatic relations just for 10 years, the bilateral friendship and cooperation have grown positively with a bright spot being tourism partnership.

She thanked Bhutan for supporting Vietnam’s candidacy to the UN Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 tenure, expressing hope that the Queen Mother and the Royal Family of Bhutan will continue to promote cooperation with Vietnam at international and regional forums, especially UN bodies.

For her part, the Queen Mother said that she was impressed at the strong growth of Vietnam in all aspects. She showed admiration for the nation, people and spirit of Vietnam during the past struggle for national defence and current process of national development.

She said that after Bhutan opened its door again for visitors earlier this year, Vietnam has become the second largest source of tourists to Bhutan with 6,000 visitors.

At the meeting, the two sides agreed to continue to increase the exchange of delegations as well as bilateral partnership in economy, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges. The two countries will work together for the opening of a direct air route in the time to come.

On the occasion, Hang conveyed Vietnamese leaders’ best regards to King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema.

Vietnam, Bhutan Agree to Work on Opening Direct Air Route
Delegation of Bhutan at airport. Photo: Trung Vu Van

Since the two countries set up diplomatic relations in 2012, the bilateral friendship and cooperation have been growing but yet to match the strength and potential of both sides.

In 2019, Chairman of the National Council (Upper House) of Bhutan Tashi Dorji visited Vietnam at the invitation of then National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

The visit was the first by a Bhutan leader since the two countries established diplomatic ties in January 2012.

Vietnam mainly exports tractors and wood furniture to Bhutan. Meanwhile, the AA Corporation of Vietnam and the AdrukA company of Bhutan have jointly invested in a wood furniture manufacturing project in the latter country since 2011.

Bhutan is selective in establishing relations with other countries. So far, it has set up diplomatic ties with only 54 nations and the European Union.

Hannah Nguyen