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India’s northeastern region will be gateway to South East Asia: MoS Singh

Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh on Wednesday said that the northeastern region would become India’s gateway to South East Asia, and would have seamless land connectivity with the heart of ASEAN and beyond once the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway is completed.

He said this while addressing the inaugural session of the 4th and last G20 Business Meet in northeast under under India’s G20 presidency,

Singh said that the hosting of B-20 event in Kohima is an outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that through India’s G20 Presidency, India in all its glory should be showcased to the world.

He said that the Prime Minister Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE) showcases the importance being attached to the development of the northeast region by the government as ‘New Engine Growth of India’.

Saying that the government is continuously working for seamless land and rail connectivity with Bangladesh and pitching northeast India to the business community to invest in, Singh stated that northeast can be seen as a potentially dynamic region of the world, surrounded by ASEAN, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, with the youth from northeast playing critical role in hospitality and care-giving sectors across India.

With its rich human resource base, he said that northeast can grow their business in the region and beyond, offering immense and relatively unexplored market opportunities.

Singh said ‘diversity is the strength of the northeastern states’ with more than 250 ethnic tribes domiciled in the region.

“Hitherto, the region was reckoned as landlocked but with the formation of bilateral and multilateral ties with other countries, the region has now become the centres for investment and partnering with other global business communities and platform for various collaborations.”

He stated that the G20 meeting is a good platform to showcase to the world the potential of the region. The minister also assured that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is ready to assist the states in exploring the potential areas of the region for investment and promotion of partnership in the business sector.

Singh also expressed the desire for collaboration of educational institutions, and construction of all-weather roads in all the border villages having close proximity with international boundary lines. He also proposed for opening of more border hubs.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said that Kohima is witnessing the convergence of 60 overseas delegates from 27 countries and the delegation includes diplomatic, focused trade and business delegates.

He added that over 100 B2B and B2G requests were generated for interaction with government departments in Tourism, Commerce and Industries, Agriculture, Horticulture, Healthcare and Food Processing.

Rio said that Nagaland would benefit from the B20 Conference as it is strategically located and will help Nagaland develop as a base for boosting links with ASEAN countries.

He mentioned that the trade potential of the state lies in its strength in agro and forest based, mining and minerals based and services based industries.




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