GUWAHATI, Oct 10: A two-day intertiol conference on Look (Act) East Policy and North East India was organized in collaboration with North Eastern Council, Shillong and State Planning and Development Department in the Semir Hall of Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development recently, stated a press communiqué. The iugural session was chaired by the Director of the Institute and was attended by C.K. Das, Member, NEC and K.V. Eapen, Additiol Chief Secretary, state P& D department. In his key note address, Prof. Atul Sarma, the Chairman of the Institute, exhorted the policy makers to bring Northeast India central to Look East Policy framework. He said, Look East Policy is very important because with its promulgation, the Government of India developed for the first time a roadmap for economic integration of the region with the rest of India and Southeast Asia. He flagged off certain preconditions in order to develop Northeast India as central to Look (Act) East Policy, viz. developing a unified market for all Northeastern states, making the region a hub for production of goods and developing infrastructure of the region particularly its road connectivity. There were five technical sessions in the conference focusing upon the issues like the achievement of Look East Policy so far, the issues of connectivity, trade and investment, India’s other multilateral engagements and its relations vis-à-vis Look East Policy and the challenges and opportunities in building strategic partnerships keeping North East India in focus. The conference saw the participation of distinguished academicians and policy experts from different institutions of South and South East Asia like Dago Tshering, former Ambassador of Bhutan to India, Dr. Walter Ferndez, Animation and Research Centre, Yangon, Myanmar, Dr. Piti Srisangm, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and Dr. Shankaran mbiar, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research. A plethora of suggestions and recommendations were made during the course of the conference and it was decided that all of them would be incorporated in a thematic policy brief to be brought out by the Institute soon. The Chairman of the Institute also anticipated that this would materialize into action plan in the coming years. The Institute would soon take up research agenda in this respect, in collaboration with institutes from across the region.
Semir on Look East Policy held