Last week, Director-General Manservisi travelled to the Republic of India (8-10 January) and the Kingdom of Bhutan (11-12 January) for bilateral consultations, the promotion of partnerships for global development and strengthening EU engagement in and with Central and South Asia in the coming years.
In India, Manservisi addressed the annual multilateral Raisina conference on "Africa First – the future of the development framework”. The EU remains committed to strengthening its global partnerships, including with India, to deliver on the sustainability and opportunities offered by Africa's Development. In bilateral discussions with the Indian government and other partners, Manservisi highlighted the EU’s interest in enhancing the strategic partnership with India through reinforced international cooperation within the 2030 Agenda context. Both sides agreed to move forward with joint initiatives for investment in priority areas of India's modernisation, on triangular cooperation in Africa, sustainable connectivity and resilient infrastructure in third countries.
In Bhutan, DG Manservisi met with the new Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering and members of his government. The recently approved 12th Five Year Plan (2018-2023) for a "Just, Harmonious and Sustainable Society through Enhanced Decentralization" sets out Bhutan’s socio-economic development priorities and programmes for the next five years. The EU is supportive of Bhutan’s priorities and has committed €51 million in assistance for the period 2014-2020 in the areas of governance; trade; investments in a green economy; environmental protection and climate-change related policies. Bhutan is aiming to reach Middle Income Country status by 2023.