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Bhutan Dreams Big: New City Aims to Bridge South and Southeast Asia

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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Bhutan's King has unveiled a bold vision for a new "economic corridor" linking South Asia and Southeast Asia. The Gelephu Special Administration Region (SAR), near the Indian border, aims to attract international investment and boost regional trade.

Spanning over 1,000 square kilometers, Gelephu will be a "Special Administrative Region" with flexible laws to entice foreign companies. Sustainability and "quality investment" are key priorities, with plans for "zero-emission" industries and a "mindfulness city" focused on tourism and wellness.

A key element is an international airport, connecting Gelephu to the world. But the ambitions go further. Discussions with India include building a 58-kilometer railway line to Assam and exploring a second link to West Bengal. These connections would ultimately open doors to Myanmar, Thailand, and beyond.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck personally discussed the project with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, highlighting its potential to bring prosperity to both nations. He expressed gratitude for India's agreement to build the first India-Bhutan railway line, a vital piece of the Gelephu puzzle.

With its ambitious scope and focus on sustainability, the Gelephu project promises to be a transformative effort for Bhutan. It aims to not only boost the nation's economy but also create a model for responsible development in the region.

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