"There will be tremendous opportunities there for realising what we are all talking about – the connect between ASEAN and India," said FICCI Secretary General Dr A Didar Singh here on Friday.
    
"I am suggesting, sir, this is the future. You must create an economic corridor in the North East area," Singh made the call to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who delivered a keynote address at the second South Asian Diaspora Convention on Friday.
    
"In Assam, if you build an economic corridor, link up the different industries with it and link it to the ASEAN," he said, highlighting the vast amount of business opportunities in the regional markets.
    
He cited the models of India's four economic corridors – Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Bangalore, Bangalore-Chenna and Amritsar-Kolkatta.
    
Singh also highlighted the projected of USD 100 billion trade by 2015 between India and ASEAN – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations comprising 10 countries from Myanmar to southeast across Indonesia.
    
The Indian-ASEAN bilateral trade has grown to USD 75 billion in 2012 from USD 2.5 billion in 1997. The business and economic growth potential was huge, given the recent emphasis on the development of land, sea and air routes between the Southeast Asian countries and India's North East. Singh said the North East region was now a gateway to India and no longer a corner.
    
In his keynote address, Chief Minister Gogoi outlined Assam's plans to carry out massive development which would offer new business opportunities. He highlighted business opportunities in power and energy sector among others, pointing out that Assam was home to the world’s second oldest oil refinery and still had that edge to be a major energy producer. He also pointed out the young Assam people being accounted among the global diaspora and were working across India.

(Agencies)

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