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Far Apart and Close Together - A book on a special relationship

December 2009

The close cooperation between Switzerland and Bhutan for the cause of socio-economic development in this country has been documented in a book titled "Far Apart and Close Together", which will be distributed to the secondary schools.

On the occasion of strengthening cooperation between the sister organisations, the society Switzerland-Bhutan (SSB) and Bhutan-Swiss friendship association, the SSB, through the support of private Swiss donors, donated 500 copies of the book to the education ministry.

The book describes the ties between Switzerland and Bhutan, covering many joint endeavours in projects like bridge building, health, education, entrepreneurship and renewal natural resource management, and provides a clear insight into the start and growth of joint engagement in Bhutan.

"This book is valuable record that will be beneficial for the next generation to understand the unfolding of more than five decades of hard work, mutual respect and close partnership that defines the Swiss-Bhutan relationship," stated a press release from SSB.

Each secondary school in the country will receive two copies of the book, one for each primary school, according to education officials. Switzerland and Bhutan shares a close relationship since the time of the Third Druk Gyalpo. It was initiated by a personal relationship with Fritz von Schulthess, a Swiss businessman.

SSB aims to further strengthen and deepen the traditional friendship, exchange of knowledge and experience through its function as a communication and information forum. SSB, in co-oporation with BSFA, is planning to support people's initiatives and strengthen enterprising groups and communities to further make their relation strong.

Source: Kinley Wangmo & Karuna Chetteri KUENSEL, Bhutan's National Newspaper, 2009


Far apart and close together

Bhutan and Switzerland are partners in development since 1950. On the occasion of 100 years Wangchuck-Dynasty, the coronation of the 5th King and 50 years Cooperation for Development Bhutan - Switzerland the SSB predsented the book «Far apart and close together».

Historic moments in Bhutan

The Wangchuck dynasty, in an exemplary manner, has guided Bhutan into the modern world. And beyond that into democracy, following a popular vote with a stunning participation. Bhutan is well prepared, its development on sound footing.

This book follows the route of development since 1950, focussing primarily on Swiss assistance.

Transitions in Cooperation

The personal friendship between a Swiss businessman and his wife, his daughter, the King and the Queen were the driving force to start with. The transition to Helvetas via the Foundation Pro Bhutan proved essential to deliver the assistance professionally.

The book

The Society Switzerland-Bhutan and its sister organisation, the Friendship Association Bhutan-Switzerland, proudly present the book to the Royal Family and the People of Bhutan during the Centenary festivity. The book, written in English with brief German and French summaries, caters not only to an international audience, but also to the youth of Bhutan, to foreign development agencies, to decision makers. Most of its content has been contributed by Bhutanese writers and photographers of many walks of life and politics.

Without the generous assistance of Helvetas, Swiss Development Cooperation, the family von Schulthess and the members of the Society it would have remained a dream.

Far apart and close together

Bhutan and Switzerland – Partners in Development since 1950

ISBN 978-3-9523611-1-5

200 pp, 305 x 235 mm, hardcover

224 photographs and illustrations

with DVD "Gross National Happiness in Bhutan"

CHF 69.00 / Euro 45.00 plus postal and package fees

on sale since September 2008 Telefax: +41 (0) 71 622 30 04

Source: Society Switzerland-Bhutan, 2009


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