Vientiane, Lao PDR
Addressing the Celebration of 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership at Luangprabang Hall, Muong Thanh Luxury Hotel, Vientiane in Lao People’s Republic on Sunday, Honchun Ngandam, Minister of Education, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh said that ” this Celebration should act as a medium or catalyst in the implementation of “Act East Policy” of Govt of India.
He said, “Act East Policy, which was conceived as an economic inventiveness, has gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions including establishment of institutional mechanisms for dialogue, support, collaboration and cooperation.
“Over the years India has upgraded its relations to strategic partnership with ASEAN and forged close ties with all countries in the region. India’s Act East Policy focuses on extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region.” The policy has placed emphasis on India-ASEAN cooperation in the domestic agenda on infrastructure, manufacturing, trade, skills, urban renewal, smart cities, Make in India and other initiatives. Connectivity projects, cooperation in Space, Science & Technology and people to people exchanges or contact should become a facilitator for regional integration and prosperity, Ngandam said.
He said that since the whole North East States of India and ASEAN economies and physiographic location are similar in nature and symbiotic strategic policy should be eveolved and expressed hope that it would provide ample opportunities for cooperation and integration. He added that traditional physical features, physical appearances, food habits should encourage forging brotherhood relation and thereby enhancing bilateral ties that are more sustained, strategic, meaningful and deep-rooted.
He further exuded hope that ASEAN-India shall tap the abundant natural resources of North East State of India for socio-industrial development. The resource-rich North East India with its expanses of fertile farmland and a huge talent pool could turn into one of India’s most prosperous region, the Education Minister said.
The region has certain distinct advantages. It is strategically located with access to the traditional domestic market of eastern India, along with proximity to the major states in the east and adjacent countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar. The region is also a vantage entry point for the South East Asian Markets.
Apart from investment in agriculture, horticulture, overseas exchange programme in education, hydro-power and infrastructure, new avenues for economic growth through the development of vertically integrated food processing chains, herbal medical sector, market linked skill development and cross-border trade, student exchange programme etc. should be boost to further strengthen the traditional bonding relation with ASEAN and the North East States of India.
He further called for the combined effort of all stakeholders and to harness the opportunities and attempts to provide new insights to the ongoing interventions to raise the North East of India to higher levels of inclusive economic growth. He also welcomed valuable investments from ASEAN partners for a sustained and equal partnership in nurturing the age-old fraternal ties.
On the occasion Somchith inthamith, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR, Dr. Khamlien pholsena, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Lao PDR, N Biren Singh, Chief Minister of Manipur, Southam sakonhninhom, Ambassador, Embassy of Lao PDR in India, Ravi Shankar Aisola, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Lao PDR, Dato’ Ramesh Kodammal, Co-Chair of ASEAN-INDIA BUSINESS COUNCIL and Chairman of ASEAN INDIA BUSINESS COUNCIL Malaysia Chapter, Habib Mohammed Chowdhury, Chairman, ASEAN-INDIA BUSINESS COUNCIL Lao PDR Chapter and Thanongsinh kanlagna, Vice – President, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lao PDR also spoke on the occasion.