After a halt of two and a half years, India-Bhutan borders to reopen on 23 Sept | Mint

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India-Bhutan border will reopen on 23 September

2 min read . Updated: 16 Sep 2022, 07:44 AM IST Livemint

As the COVID pandemic forced the two countries to shut their border two and a half years ago, India and Bhutan have decided to reopen border from 23 September. The move is expected to boost tourism and increase trade

After being closed for almost four years due to the COVID pandemic, the India-Bhutan border is set to reopen on 23 September.

“Government of Bhutan has officially announced that international border with India will be opened on Sept 23 as Covid cases have subsided. We prepare to open the border and give visitors a good experience,” said Tashi Penjore, the Himalayan kingdom’s Director (law and order) of the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

Also Read: PTC plans co in Nepal to sell power to India, Bangladesh

Both governments agreed to close the international borders in a meeting that was held between the Director of Law and Order Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Tashi Panjore with the Commandant of the 15th Battalion of Sashastra Seema Bal, Neeraj Chand. The decision was taken nearly four years ago when COVID-19 cases were rising all across the globe.

Also Read: India-Bhutan ties: EAM Jaishankar to be Bhutan’s first high-level foreign visitor since Covid-19 pandemic

Tashi Penjore, Director of Law and Order Department, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bhutan, Deputy Commissioner of Bhutan, Superintendent of Police, and several officers were present at SSB Headquarters regarding the same subject.

Notably, the Buddhist country shares its borders with India and China. It is known to be an attractive destination for Chinese tourists. However, as part of its stringent measures to keep COVID-19 at abeyance, the country closed its international borders two and a half years ago.

Now the country is again open for tourists and travellers. Bhutanese officials have also urged people to visit Bhutan during their holidays. Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on Wednesday. Both of them discussed different aspects of strengthening India-Bhutan ties in the future. As a neighbouring country, Bhutan plays a key role in terms of trade as well as tourism. The country shares its borders with Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, and Sikkim.

Apart from tourism, Bhutan also relies heavily on India for imports. According to Trading Economics, India is a leading exporter of goods to Bhutan. It exports around 97% of total goods to Bhutan.

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