In comments, which will be read with interest in Beijing, which lays claim over parts of the state, he said that no longer should this region be considered remote.
    
"The Centre and the state government should together rapidly build the infrastructure linkages and connectivity with the rest of India that is required and this legislature and the people of Arunachal should extend every assistance possible to this venture," he said in his address to Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.
    
China, which has raised disputes regarding India's sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh, has of late upped the ante by issuing stapled visas to residents of the state in a bid to buttress its claim.
    
But the visits by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh some years ago and the President now are seen as an attempt by India to send a clear message to China that India has an unassailable sovereignty over the state.

The President said the country had a long-standing civilizational bonds with its neighbours in South and South East Asia as well as East Asia.
    
"The north east of India provides a natural bridge between us and South East Asia. The essential philosophy of our Look East Policy is that India must find its destiny by linking itself more and more with its Asian partners and the rest of the world," he said adding India seeks to make its
neighbours as partners in development.
    
"We believe that India's future and our own best economic interests are served by closer integration with Asia...there is little time to be lost. Considering the huge pool of natural resources and the quality of its human resources, the North East of India has the potential of being an important
investment destination and a centre for trade and business," he said.
    
He said there was a need to harness opportunities that were emerging from the rise of Asia and India’s growing economic integration of India with the region.
    
Mukherjee said it was a challenge for the state and the central governments to complete and commission all the hydel projects in the state so that the economy gets a quantum jump to become one of the richest states of the country.
    
"Since Arunachal Pradesh has common borders with three countries, the development of border areas is also vital and must receive our utmost attention," he said.

(Agencies)

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