'Connectivity via Brahmaputra can improve Indo-Bhutan economic ties'

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal today held a one-on-one dialogue with a team from Bhutan
'Connectivity via Brahmaputra can improve Indo-Bhutan economic ties'


DIBRUGARH: Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal today held a one-on-one dialogue with a team from Bhutan led by the country's Economic Affairs Minister HE Lyonpo Loknath Sharma on the sidelines of the Waterways Conclave in Dibrugarh.

Discussing ways to harness the potential of waterways for the progress of Bhutan and India, especially the north-eastern region, the Union Minister stated that the NW 2 (Brahmaputra River) connectivity could be leveraged by both countries for improved economic ties.

Highlighting the traditional bonds of friendship between India and Bhutan, Sonowal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visionary Act East policy had added new momentum to trade and socio-cultural movement between the two nations. Speaking about the huge opportunities offered by the MMLP in Jogighopa and the gateway in Dhubri, the Union Minister stated that India's advantage in providing infra support and low cost logistics could bring a new era of development for the neighbouring country.

Earlier, while inaugurating the exhibition at the Waterways Conclave in Dibrugarh, the minister said that a waterways ecosystem that would connect India with its neighbouring nations and lead to newer job opportunities was being developed under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat vision.

"Waterways will usher in a new era of growth in the country's north-eastern region," he said. Sonowal said that the inland water transport sector would play an important role in improving the domestic connectivity and regional integration of the country. He said that India had already signed bilateral agreements with Bangladesh to strengthen inland water transportation and maritime relations.

Waterways Conclave opened today to a bevy of industry stakeholders and policymakers visiting Dibrugarh. As many as six MoUs are slated to be signed during the event. In addition, more than 40 national and global companies are participating in the exhibition.

The conclave is also taking forward the vision of Prime Minister on 'Vocal for Local' by giving a platform to local companies to highlight Assam's handicrafts and tea in the exhibition.

On the opening day, a technical session on regional connectivity through waterways was also held which was moderated by Arnab Bandyopadhyay, program leader – Infrastructure World Bank, Sanjeev Ranjan, secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, and other dignitaries. Several countries, including Netherlands, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh are participating in the two-day conclave.

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Sentinel Assam