State visit: The King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia left the country on June 11 after a three-day state visits to the country.

The King said he was impressed with the way Bhutanese have preserved tradition and culture.  He said the capital has been growing a lot since their last visit in 1993.

“Lots of buildings have come up in the capital with traditional architecture and paintings, which I like the most,” he said. “You are also very proud of your culture and history, that is good.”

The King, who was accompanied by the minister for social security of Sweden and a business delegation, said that it was a fruitful visit.

“We’ve had wonderful time,” His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf said. Bhutan and Sweden also had discussion on hydroelectric power and environment, among others. “You are also well known for these two and we’ve had long experience in these sectors.”

Sweden is ranked 10th in the United Nations’ annual World Happiness Index. On what elements contributed to their country’s happiness, His Majesty said that it was the fruits of initiatives that began over 100 years ago. “Happiness in Sweden is a result of what happened 100 years ago.”

His Majesty Gustaf said: “We were never under any other country, and not part of any wars that has created the possibility to develop the country not just socially but also technically. We had innovations and did business abroad, big businesses that can keep the society afloat.”

The Royal Couple were seen off at the Paro International Airport by Her Royal Highness Princess Kezang Choden Wangchuck, Her Royal Highness Princess Dechen Yangzom Wangchuck and senior government officials.

Tshering Palden