Bhutan has been described as a small country with a large vision, a society that defines happiness as the goal for human development, and a country that has dared to be different against the pressures of globalization said the Prime Minster Dasho Tshering Tobgay while addressing the participants of the Singapore Summit 2017 yesterday.
Prime Minister made a special mention of His Majesty the King’s advice that “No nation today can stand alone in achievement. Time is slowly telling us that there can be no lasting individual success without success as a community and there cannot be lasting national progress and success if it does not fit into a future of global peace, harmony, and equality. The world must progress together or fail together.”
And said that it is critical that we navigate a new world order through an unpredictable regional and global political, social, and economic climate; that we define Asia’s new role in keeping regions interconnected and interdependent; that we design policies to deal with inequalities that are excluding societies and leaving countries behind; that we tap the amazing power of technology; and that we strengthen social justice and harmony for all our peoples.
“While Bhutan and Singapore are both small countries with large neighbours, unlike Singapore, we do not have the resources to be a “small country that can punch above its weight.” Bhutan is constantly grappling with our karma – the “causes and conditions” – created by the presence of very large neighbours. And it is because of the threat perception of a small country with a strong sense of vulnerability that Bhutan has approached the process of development, modernization, and change with extreme caution.”
He said that the Singapore Summit has delved into the core of the issues that are challenging the stability of human existence and development. They are sensitive and contemporary issues which are very relevant but are already having a significant impact on us. It is critical that we navigate a new world order through an unpredictable regional and global political, social, and economic climate; that we define Asia’s new role in keeping regions interconnected and interdependent; that we design policies to deal with inequalities that are excluding societies and leaving countries behind; that we tap the amazing power of technology; and that we strengthen social justice and harmony for all our peoples.
He reminded the gathering that when some large powers are self-absorbed and withdrawing from many areas of concern to the human community; when others are asserting themselves; and when yet others are trying to figure out their identities and roles. For example, the Deputy Prime Minister, Teo Chee Hean, outlined a scenario where the US might withdraw further into itself and China assert itself in the region and beyond.
Emphasizing on the Gross National Happiness philosophy Dasho Tshering Tobgay said that this summit is an appropriate venue to clarify the misconception that GNH does not undermines the importance of economic wellbeing. It does not. In fact, while GNH has largely focused on the sphere of public policy, Bhutan is now integrating GNH values into the decision-making processes of businesses. In November this year, at a “GNH For Business” conference, we will launch a GNH Certification Tool for Business.
The Singapore Summit was established since 2012, as one of the foremost events for business and thought leaders from Asia and the world to come together and discuss opportunities and challenges that could impact regional and global growth, prosperity and stability. It seeks to provide a platform where ideas on deeper partnerships between the public and private sectors that would take us forward in the future economy are developed and shared. Attendance is by invitation only.
The Singapore Summit is organised by Temasek Foundation Connects with the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board, GIC, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade & Industry, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Temasek.
The Singapore Summit this year was held from 15-16th September with 25 speakers including Ken Kobayashi the chairman of the Board of Mitsubishi Corporation, Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and Nik Gowing
a renowned international broadcaster.