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ASEAN-India car rally reaches final destination in Guwahati

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The Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean)-India car rally, which was organized to commemorate the 20 years of Asean-India relationship, and flagged off from Yogyakarta in Indonesia on Nov 26, was today flagged down in Guwahati by Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi.

The car rally, which consisted of 31 sports utility vehicles and 124 participants from 9 nations, travelled a distance of around 8,000 km before reaching Guwahati. A three-hour long cultural extravaganza welcomed the rally participants in Guwahati today.

“We could show that India and are effectively connected by roads and not just by air,” said Cham Prasidh, commerce minister of Cambodia.

He added: “North East India is not just an enclave, but the gateway for Asean countries. We have to join hands together to build Asean-India partnership for peace, progress and sustainability.”

When the first Indo-Asean car rally was flagged off from Guwahati in 2005, which culminated in Indonesia, India’s trade volume with Asean countries was only $21 billion. The trade volume has since increased to $52 billion in 2010-2011, said Tarun Gogoi, Assam’s chief minister.

“Together we can build a new world. We are now looking towards the east and not the west. We will exploit our resources by joining hands together,” added Gogoi.

India became a sectoral-dialogue partner of Asean in 1992, which was upgraded to full dialogue partnership in 1996.

The rally commemorated the 20 years of Asean-India relationship as well as 10 years of Asean-India Dialogue Partnership, said D. Purandeswari, Union minister of state for industry and commerce.

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