SHILLONG, February 26: The three-day look east business show in Shillong kick started on Thursday with dignitaries from Singapore, Cambodia and the Meghalaya Chief Minister underscoring on the importance of building on the fundamentals relating to geography, ethnic and historical ties to reap the much needed socio-economic development of North east India and South East Asia.
The theme of the Look East Business show is “strengthening south East Again ties with North East India”. The speakers, during the iugural session, dwelt on the importance to generate the type of cooperation for mutual benefits in terms of social and economic development.
Cambodian Secretary of State and Vice Minister, Tourism,Tith Chantha said there is a need to enhance interl and exterl co-operation to boost business ties between the people of Northeast India and South East Asia, even as he added, “There is a need to put more effort by having the head and the heart working in tandem.” He elaborated on the tremendous potential that the 2 billion people of South East Asia and North East India could harvest through the old historical affiliations.
Deputy Commissioner of Singapore to India Edmund Chia echoed similar words in his reference to the Look East Policy (now act east policy) to integrate the economy of the region with the rest of South East Asia. Edward Chia said that they had been encouraged to take a closer look at North East as the new Government of India had shown strong political will to develop the region.
Speaking on the occasion, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma highlighted on the “tural connect” between the people of Northeast and South East. Sangma called upon the people of both the regions to leverage upon the common potentialities and look for common business interests that can bring the people of these regions together. He stated that the strength of Northeast is lies in its huge forest cover and stressed the need to link sustaible ecology with sustaible livelihood.
Terming Meghalaya was one of the fastest growing states in India in terms of GDP, the Chief Minister in his iugural address said that Meghalaya is the place where things should start as far as North East is concerned, where one can invest on tourism, health and other activities.
The Chief Minister told the visiting dignitaries that the State would be looking forward to having sector-specific engagements with them in an aggressive manner adding that “as we host this business summit we look forward for the opportunities of Look East Policy”.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Member of North Eastern Council MP Bezbaruah suggested to the participating delegates and ICC to identify items that people from NE can import, identify what tourists from their countries are looking for that NE can provide, suggest possibilities of joint collaboration on healthcare, coordite tour operators and identify nodal institutions for people to people contact.