His Majesty The King granted an Audience yesterday to the graduates of the Royal Institute of Management on the eve of their Convocation Ceremony.
Before the Royal Address, His Majesty spent time interacting with the graduates, hearing their concerns and insights about the progress and the future of the country.
Addressing the graduates, His Majesty said that it was the responsibility of the Bhutanese people to protect and preserve everything Bhutan and the Bhutanese—past achievements, core values, identity, and national security.
“As you hold a special place of influence within the nation’s ecosystem, it is imperative that you always promote and defend the peace and unity that we enjoy,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty said that it was the integrity and innate sensibility of the Bhutanese that contributed immensely to the nation’s development and that every Bhutanese must retain these qualities.
“Climb higher on the shoulders of past achievements. Your task is not to fill the old shoes or to follow a well-trodden path but to forge a new road leading to a brighter future,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty said that being a small, landlocked country with resource limitations, Bhutan feared failure the most. As a result, with the best of intentions, a fail-safe system began to take shape.
“Today we realise that although the intentions were good, this has led to systemic constraints and has posed unintended structural limitations,” His Majesty said.
His Majesty said that such a system served its purpose then, but over time, it has outlived its usefulness. It may have stifled innovation, creativity, enterprise, adversely affected leadership, accountability, and prudent resource management. “These are problems we cannot ignore, and have to be addressed.”
His Majesty said that jobless growth of economy was a ubiquitous problem and not unique to Bhutan. “Our focus must, therefore, be on generating employment.”
His Majesty said that in 2012, our foreign reserves accumulated over generations was USD 674.5 million. In the same year, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for around USD 1 billion.
“I was amazed to learn that Instagram had only 13 employees at the time of acquisition,” His Majesty said.
“We have to figure out ways to use technology to solve problems to improve governance, democracy, education, agriculture, to create jobs, enhance well-being, to make our cities safer and cleaner to benefit our people,”His Majesty said.
His Majesty said that as a small country, Bhutan must to look beyond domestic market for growth and there was technology to overcome traditional economic limitations.
His Majesty said that Bhutan had talented people, who, given the right training and preparation, could take advantage of technology to achieve higher productivity and greater well-being.
While commending the progress, His Majesty urged every Bhutanese to set higher aims.
Time had arrived to think about how to make use of emerging technological advancements such as Digital Identification, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Big Data, Quantum Computing, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, etc, which present unlimited opportunities for Bhutanese, His Majesty said.
“Being a small nation makes us a smart nation. This is not out of choice, but out of necessity,” His Majesty said. “Technology is indispensable to realise this aspiration.”
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