PM Modi considers North East a key to ASEAN connect
Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the two-day Global Investment Summit in Guwahati, a first of its kind initiative in the northeast, and said a new terminal being constructed at Guwahati airport would boost the region's connectivity with ASEAN countries.
Addressing the event, being held at the Sarusojai Stadium in Guwahati, the Prime Minister expressed his happiness that Bangladesh and Bhutan have opened their consulate offices in Guwahati and said the northeast is at the heart of India's 'Act East Policy'.
Modi said the initiatives taken by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for the last three and half years "are becoming evident" and that his government had spent Rs 5,300 crore every year in northeastern states to improve the railway network.
"Rs 4,700 crore was allocated to extend railway connectivity to 15 new destinations. When the Agartala (Tripura)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) railway connectivity becomes a reality in the near future, the whole region will be benefited," said Modi.
He said the tagline of the meet - 'Advantage Assam: India's expressway to ASEAN' - is very appropriate and not just a statement but it is a "comprehensive vision".
"We created the Act East Policy and the Northeast is at the heart of it. The Act East Policy requires increased people to people contact, trade ties and other relations with countries on India's east, particularly Asean countries," Modi said.
"Our vision is development of the eastern part of India, as the country's fast pace of development will only be effective when the people living in the northeast develop," he said.
Modi said that roads and railways are being constructed at a faster pace in the northeast and electricity is being generated at a similar pace.
The summit, a first of its kind two-day initiative, is expected to see participation of top industrialists of the country including Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani.
The summit is likely to see the participation of over 5,000 delegates from across the world, including Asean countries.
Officials said that over 250 MOUs worth Rs 60,000 crore are expected to be signed on the first day of the summit on Saturday.
Other top industrialists are expected to participate include, Anand Burman (Dabur), Subhash Chandra (Essel Group and ZEE), Amar Abrol (Air Asia India), Rashesh Shah (Edelweiss), Sushil Goenka (Emami Group), Sanjiv Puri (ITC Limited), Harshavardhan Neotia (Ambuja Neotia Cements), and Balakrishan Goenka (Welspun Group). Naresh Trehan (Medanta- The Medicity) and filmmaker Subhash Ghai are also expected to attend.
Business seminars on 12 focus sectors will be held on both the days including Agriculture and Food Processing - Organic Cultivation and Bamboo, Handloom, Textile and Handicrafts, Logistics, River Transport and Port Township, IT and ITeS, Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment, Plastics and Petrochemicals, Power, Tourism, Hospitality and Wellness, Civil Aviation, Petroleum and Natural Gas and Startups Innovation.
"Investments in our promising sectors are key to the economic growth of the state. The objective is also to position Assam as India's Expressway to Asean. The Summit is based on the core principles of the Act East Policy," Assam Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said on Saturday.
He said the Government of Assam is fully geared up for its first maiden Global Investors' Summit. Several Union Ministers including Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Zubin Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, Jitendra Singh, Kiren Rijiju are expected to take part in the proceedings as well.