"As chief minister of Assam, the largest state in north-eastern India, a region which shares a land border with ASEAN, I am here to show our strong desire to strengthen connectivity and cooperation'', Gogoi said at a welcome ceremony of the ASEAN-India Car Rally at the Reunification Palace at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
"North-East India has a strong historical and sub-regional affinity towards the ASEAN nations and the car rally will enrich the concept and implementation of New Delhi's Look East Policy with 'people-to-people contact, investment, tourism, trade and commerce," Gogoi said in a speech, a copy of which was officially made available here.
Gogoi hoped direct air links between India and Vietnam in the near future would lead to enhanced trade and commerce.
The ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012, jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), began on November 26 at Yogyakarta in Indonesia with a flag off at Singapore.
The car rally commemorates 20 years of ASEAN-India relationship in the run up to India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit.
The car rally will traverse a distance of 8,000 km across nine countries over 22 days with 124 participants from 11 countries before reaching Guwahati on December 17 next.