Narendra Modi's two-day trip to Bhutan
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to BhutanReuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who began his two-day visit to Bhutan on Sunday (15 June), will inaugurate one of India's assistance projects - the Supreme Court of Bhutan. He will also address the joint session of the parliament of Bhutan.

Modi is undertaking the trip at the invitation from Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay. It is the first ever foreign visit for Modi after he took over as the Prime Minister of India on 26 May.

Explaining why he chose Bhutan as the first foreign destination, Modi in his statement said that Bhutan and India have been bounded by common interests and shared prosperity. India and Bhutan enjoy a unique and special relationship which has been forged by "ties of geography, history and culture," he added.

The Prime Minister said that India's relations with Bhutan will be a priority policy of his government. "I travel to Bhutan with immense happiness and a strong desire to further strengthen our already strong bond," he said.

"Bhutan and India share a very special relationship that has stood the test of time.

"The government of India has been a privileged and leading partner of Bhutan in its socio-economic development. We rejoice in Bhutan's remarkable economic growth and its progress and prosperity. We are committed to continuing our unstinted support to Bhutan in its development efforts," he further said.

Modi will be holding detailed discussions with the Bhutan King and the Prime Minister on various bilateral issues. The Prime Minister said he will review with the Bhutanese leadership about the development cooperation programme to make it "even more effective and responsive to the changing aspirations of the people of Bhutan."

On its part, Bhutan is seeking enhanced cooperation with India in the hydropower sector. "The least we can expect for the two governments is to expedite the construction of the power plants in Bhutan to address a fraction of India's huge demand for power," The Hindu quoted Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay as saying.

Bhutan has abundant water resources and the country has commissioned three major hydropower projects, while three more are under construction. The surplus electricity generated by these hydropower plants is exported to India, Tobgay said.

There is scope for India-Bhutan's cooperation in trade and investment, economic cooperation, development of hydropower, development assistance, cultural cooperation and most important of all, security interests, the Bhutan Prime Minister said.