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ASEAN-India car rally reaches final destination in Guwahati

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The Association of South East Asian Nations ()-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 .

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 Asean are effectively connected by roads and not just by air,” said , 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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