• The EU Bank and Bhutan signed a country framework agreement necessary for the EIB to start supporting projects in Bhutan both with finances and technical assistance; The Country Framework Agreement (CFA) was ratified by the Parliament of Bhutan on 31 March 2021.
  • Vice President of the EIB Christian Kettel Thomsen and Bhutan’s Foreign Secretary, Ambassador Pema Choden signed the Statement acknowledging the ratification of the CFA.
  • Bank to focus on climate action, green energy, energy efficiency and long term sustainability of Bhutanese economy.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Bank of the European Union, and the Kingdom of Bhutan officially acknowledged today the ratification of the Country Framework Agreement which allows the EIB to start operations in the country. The EIB operations in Bhutan will significantly expand the existing EU economic support for the Kingdom of Bhutan especially on climate action, climate resilience and energy efficiency.

Foreign Secretary in the Royal Government of Bhutan, H.E. Ambassador Pema Choden, signed the statement with Vice President of the EIB Christian Kettel Thomsen at the EIB headquarters in Luxembourg.

The EIB will provide long-term financing, advisory support and blend EU grants for projects to support global climate action, climate resilience, and energy efficiency as well as contribute to long-term sustainability, resilience and competitiveness of Bhutanese economy. Country framework agreements are the key precondition for the start of EIB operations in countries outside the European Union.

EIB Vice President Thomsen, who is in charge of EIB operations in Bhutan, said: “Today`s signature opens a new chapter in EU – Bhutan relationships and opens the way for the EIB as the EU bank to start investing in climate, green energy and sustainable social and economic development of Bhutan. The bank will be able to support both the EU and Bhutan’s Government policy goals with new investments, valuable technical assistance in project preparation, and our unique ability to blend our own financing with EU grants. With EIB Global, our new development branch, in place we look forward being an integral part of Bhutan`s long-term growth.”

Bhutan`s Foreign Secretary, Ambassador Pema Choden, said: “The signing and ratification of the Country Framework Agreement between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the European Investment Bank comes at an important time ahead of our LDC graduation. Bhutan and the EU enjoy strong relations and successful cooperation, and we are happy that the EIB will be another avenue through which we can expand our engagement.”

EU Ambassador to India and Bhutan Ugo Astuto said: “The EU is a long term friend and partner of Bhutan, supporting the country in a number of priority areas including the fight against climate change, environmental protection and sustainable socio-economic development. EIB operations will provide further impetus to our work by bringing in additional financial and technical resources.”

EIB Global to support EU policy goals in partner countries outside the EU

Outside the European Union, the EIB contributes to economic development in countries that have association or cooperation agreements with the European Commission. EIB Framework Agreements regulate lending activities that the Bank is authorized to do in the respective country.

In Asia, the EIB has so far signed Framework Agreements with Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

In January 2021, the EIB launched the EIB Global, the Bank`s Development branch to increase the impact of its activities outside the European Union. EIB Global allows the EIB to reorganize its activities outside the European Union and increase its presence on the ground, as well as develop more targeted strategies and services in close cooperation with partners.

Notes to editors:

About the EIB Global:

Launched in 2011, EIB Global brings all the resources of the European Investment Bank to bear on its operations outside the European Union with a structure designed to foster strong, focused partnership with Team Europe.

EIB Global works through efficient cooperation with our partners and beneficiaries, with development finance institutions, and civil society. The bottom line: increased impact from our financing. 

EIB Global brings the Bank closer to local people, companies and institutions. See the list of our offices accross the world. 

About the EIB in Asia:

For over 25 years, the EIB has supported economic development in Asia and the Pacific region through projects ranging from cutting travel times for the people of Bangalore and Ho Shi Min, with new metro lines, to providing cheaper, cleaner energy to western Nepal and drinking water to citizens of Phnom Pen.

In Asia, the EIB’s focus is our lending on climate action across all sectors. Through our financing, we act as a catalyst to attract the funding needed to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. We also work to include gender equality in our projects, ensuring that women, men, girls and boys can benefit from projects equally and equitably.