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G20 nations urged to invest in Northeast India with ‘immense market potential’

Kohima: The Northeast region of India has relatively unexplored and immense market potential, said Union Minister Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh on Wednesday. He urged the G20 countries to invest in the region.

Initiatives like the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for the Northeast showcase the importance being attached to the development of the region, Singh said in his address at a B20 event in Nagaland.

“Northeastern India is well placed to leverage this opportunity because even Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls the region the New Engine of Growth for India,” the Union Minister of State for External Affairs said at the programme here.

This is the fourth and final event of B20 being organised in north-east region, while the first three conferences were held in Imphal, Aizawl and Gangtok.
Altogether 60 delegates from 27 countries, 39 overseas industries and 24 diplomats participated in the programme arranged by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) under the G20 Secretariat of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Business 20 (B20) is a group that represents the private sector within the G20, the premier forum for international economic cooperation.

Northeast is India’s gateway to Southeast Asia, and will have seamless land connectivity with the heart of ASEAN, and beyond, once the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway is complete, the minister said.

In the last 8 years, air connectivity in the region has increased double fold while many Northeastern states have for the first time found a place in the country’s railway map, he said.

Efforts are also being made to expand the waterways and the length of highways in the region has increased by 50 per cent, the minister said. “The region has a rich human resource base, and it will help grow your business in the Northeast and beyond,” said Singh while wooing the G20 investors.

Asking the delegates to use platforms like the B20 to start a conversation, and be the first movers, the Union minister assured the foreign investors that “10 years down, you will not regret.”

The B20 programme focused on multilateral partnerships in agriculture, food processing, tourism and information technology.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said Nagaland, the land of festivals, with its beautiful landscape, vibrant greenery, and the abode of indigenous people with a rich and colourful culture hopes to find a special place in the hearts of the G20 delegates.

In the past, he said, Nagaland was considered closed to the rest of the country and the world, perhaps due to its relative remoteness and backwardness, as well as its political history. “Over the past two decades it has opened up to the world and it now offers huge untapped potential in several areas of trade and services, including the large unexploited and unexplored natural resources available in the State, especially for those who come early,” the chief minister said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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