Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu welcomed the investors to invest in the region, particularly in Arunachal – in the sectors of Hydro power, Social infrastructure, Agro processing, large scale farming, R&D, especially in the state’s rich gene pool and other bio resource, Pharma and IT.
The Chief Minister said “North East of 2017 is much different from what was read and heard about 2-3 decades ago.” He made this assertion on Tuesday while addressing over 170 corporate leaders from India and abroad at the first North East Development Summit held here at the Convention Centre, organised by Govt of India, India Foundation and Manipur govt.
“For those in the mainland, the North East is associated with ethnic conflict and insurgency. However, in last one decade, much has changed in this region. An atmosphere of peace and tranquillity has laid conducive conditions for economic development,” said Khandu.
He said with enhanced access to modern education and decent healthcare facilities, the youth of the region are aspirational. They are globally connected through the power of technology and are extremely conscious of changes across the world.
Khandu observed that the “Nehruvian Policy of Panchsheel in real terms has became a barrier for economic development.” He said the decades of 80s and the 90s saw tremendous development in rest parts of the country; but sadly for the people of North East, these were “decades of opportunity lost.”
“It is true that we do not have the strength to compete with Maharashtra, Gujarat or Tamil Nadu as a major manufacturing hub, but there are areas where we have something to offer which no one else does,” he said.
“Tell us what you need from us by way of policy and I assure you we will get it done,” said Khandu.
On youth talent of the region, the Chief Minister said that culturally the young boys and girls of the region have very high emotional qoutient, making them a natural choice in the sectors of Tourism, IT, Healthcare and hospitality.
“This core competence coupled with high creative qoutient, our boys and girls can be nurtured in areas which involve creativity- architecture, digital design, music, animation, film etc,” said the Chief Minister and urged for a skill development institute of international level in the summit that was also attended by policy makers from the centre and the region.
He also urged that since North East is the pivot of the Act East Policy and its biggest beneficiary, the region must be made central to the policy planning and not a marginal transit stop over.
On operationalization of the Stilwell road, the Chief Minister said that people of Arunachal wants it to be opened sooner or later.
“I would recommend at this platform that an institutional structure of all Chief Ministers of this region be created along with Union External Affairs Minister, Defence Minister,Commerce Minister and Home Minister to actively discuss our perspective of the Act East Policy,” he added.
The summit was graced by President of India Ram Nath Kovind as Chief Guest. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, Nagaland CM TR Zeliang, MoS Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, MoS Tourism KJ Alphons and NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar Sharma also attended the summit.