The tiny Himalayan Kingdom Bhutan of Bhutan is keen on increased trade with Malaysia.
“Malaysia is one of the countries high on the list for sometime with which we want to enjoy close relations,” said Bhutan Prime Minister Jigme Thinley.
“There are certain commonalities. On the materialistic side we can learn from Malaysia’s experience,” Thinley told Bernama in an interview in Thimphu.
Describing Malaysia as “a successful and proud nation”, Thinley said there were key areas where Bhutan, an agrarian economy, could tap into Malaysia’s expertise. “We would like to look at the Malaysian technology in landfills (waste management) and agricultural sector where Malaysia has done quite well.
“The highest level visit from Malaysia was when the then deputy prime minister Datuk Musa Hitam (now Tun) visited Bhutan (in 1983). So we need to upscale that (relations) and work on it,” said Thinley.
Bhutan is part of the eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) a burgeoning market of 1.5 billion people.
In the South Asian region, it remains a small economy with gross domestic product (GDP) valued at $1.28bil (RM4.48bil) an economy propelled largely by tourism, exports of seasonal agriculture produces and minerals.
The land-locked Himalayan kingdom is home to a population of 690,000 people and was ranked the eighth happiest nation in the world but among the poorest, too.