"The connectivity with ASEAN is a strategic priority for us. It is the key to regional development, to building capacities and enhancing trade and investment. Moreover, what is important is establishing people-to-people contact and rekindling cultural ties for bringing about durable relationship between India and South-East Asia," Gogoi said.
Speaking at the plenary session of the Second South Asian Diaspora Convention organized by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore, the Assam CM said that both the Central and state governments are committed to forging strong partnership with ASEAN.
A release from the Chief Minister's office in Guwahati quoted Gogoi as saying, "I am happy that today this partnership has become an important pillar of our Look East Policy. Under this policy, the road and rail infrastructure in Assam, which provides vital links to all the states of the North East and to the rest of India, are being developed."
Some border points at Moreh (Manipur), Sutarkandi and Mankachar (Assam), Dawki (Meghalaya), Nathula (Sikkim), etc, have been opened for bilateral trade and commerce with the countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and China, he said.
He pointed out that Assam's internal waterways network connecting it to Bangladesh provide access to the ports of Kolkata and Haldia in West Bengal. "Both the land and water routes are available to investors for re-export to East and South East Asia," he added.
Calling for deliberations on the critical intervention required for smooth flow of trade and commerce to the region, he said, "I would urge the Indian diaspora, comprising many enterprising people who have done well in all walks of life the world over to visit Assam and make it their investment
"Geographic connectivity alone is not good enough. We need to see trade facilitation and the transformation of these corridors into economic corridors carrying the promise of economic growth, jobs, development and prosperity across the region," the Chief Minister said.


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