Guwahati (Assam) [India], May 28 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that the North-eastern states can emerge as the hub of the regional economy involving the neighbouring countries.
Jaishankar stressed on the connectivity of the North-eastern states with India's neighbours, saying it can transform the region.
He was speaking at the Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) conference in Guwahati.
"Better connectivity is central to improving the ease of doing business and living. We need to tackle topography-related challenges. India that's more connected to the northeast and the Northeast that's more connected to India's neighbours means a complete transformation of the regional economy. Instead of being regarded as a frontier, it will emerge as a hub in itself," he said.
Jaishankar also spoke about Indian rivers and their connectivity.
"We used them, dominated them, leveraged them, we blocked them; these have been society's ups and downs over time. We carry forward our deliberations, bearing in mind that connectivity, commerce, culture, collaboration and capacity are the core objectives of the Asian conference," he said.
Jaishankar further said that today we conceptualize connectivity with power bridges and data corridors, education and tourism, and energy flows and cultural context.
"With Guwahati as the location, we consider the enormous promise that it holds, not just for the region, and our neighbours but even for our geographies beyond. Connectivity may have started with roads and waterways but today we conceptualize power bridges and data corridors, education and tourism, and energy flows and cultural context. Anything that connects is connectivity," EAM S Jaishankar further added.
The External Affairs Minister said further said that the operation of the Shehbazpur to Mahishasan link will be extended within Bangladesh and will be connected to the Kulwara-Shehbazpur rail line currently being modernized using an Indian line credit.
"It is definitely within our ability to overcome geography and rewrite near history if only we can get the politics and the economics right. We can achieve this by enhancing connectivity with Bangladesh, especially with the Northeast. The restoration of the six historical cross-border rail links is one major step. Operation of the Shehbazpur to Mahishasan link will be extended within Bangladesh and will be connected to the Kulwara-Shehbazpur rail line currently being modernized using an Indian line credit," he said.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that his government is working to make the state an industrial hub.
Sarma said, "Northeast is India's gateway to Southeast Asia. Our government is working to make Assam an industrial hub not only for the region but also for catering requirements of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries."External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen also participated in the inaugural session of the NADI conference 2022 "Asian Confluence River Convlave 2022" at Radisson Blu in Guwahati. (ANI)