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‘North East is India’s gateway to Southeast Asia’

Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Our Correspondent

Kohima | April 5

Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh today said that North East is India’s gateway to Southeast Asia, for which “We will have seamless land connectivity with the heart of ASEAN, and beyond, once the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway is completed.”

“We are continuously working for seamless land and rail connectivity with Bangladesh,” he said while speaking at the inaugural function of B20 conference on opportunities for Multilateral Business Partnerships in Agriculture, Food Processing, Tourism and Information Technology in Kohima on April 5.

The NE, today, can be seen as the center of a potentially dynamic region of the world, surrounded by the ASEAN, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and off course mainland India, he said.

Stating that the youth from the NE served as the backbone, in the initial heydays of business process outsourcing boom in India, he said, “Our youth today play critical role in hospitality and care-giving sectors across India.”

“We have rich human resource base. They will grow your business for you in the North East, and beyond,” he said. Singh continued that NE offers immense and relatively unexplored market opportunities today.

“I strongly believed that North East India is well placed to leverage this opportunity. I strongly believe, we are. My Prime Minister believes, we are. Else, he would not be calling the North East to be the New Engine of Growth for India,” Singh said.

He said that Prime Minister’s unique initiatives, like the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE), showcases the importance being attached to the development of the North East Region by the government. “These initiatives are over and above the fact that over the last 8 years, number of airports in the region has jumped from 9 to 16. The number of flights connecting the region has increased from about 900, before 2014, to around 1900 today,” he said adding that many North Eastern states have come to Indian Railway map.

“Efforts are being made to expand the waterways also. The length of highways in the region has increased by 50% since 2014,” Singh said.

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