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Assam keen to start flights to ASEAN countries: Sonowal

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

is in discussion with the Centre to start to ASEAN countries, Chief Minister said today.

"We are keen to start flights to ASEAN countries and we also request these countries to do the same to the region," said at a plenary session on and ties with ASEAN and BBN countries, at the Global Investors Summit here.

"There is scepticism from some quarters that it will not be viable in the short-run, but we are sure it will be in the long-run and transform the economy of the region," he said.

He also urged ASEAN countries to set up consulates in Guwahati, which besides boosting economic ties, will also help in promoting cultural relations.

The Centre was exploring possibilities of initiating work on the ASEAN Trilateral Motor Work, which will transform the economic scenario of the region, the CM said.

Meanwhile, Asian Development Bank's Kenichi Yokoyamana, who was present at the event, said ADB is preparing for the ASEAN market, estimated at around USD 800 billion.

"The North East and particularly has the locational advantage as the centre for the regional cooperation framework for with the ASEAN and BBN countries," Yokoyamana said.

ADB has Rs 7,000 crore in investments in Assam and is a key to integrating the state with ASEAN countries by preparing a vision and strategy suitable for the South East Asia markets.

The areas where Assam can increase ties with the ASEAN countries were agriculture, agro-processing, services sector, tourism and information technology, he said.

The (AIBC) called for an initiative to set up a in ASEAN countries.

The tourism market in the north east is untapped and there can be tie-ups with ASEAN countries to explore opportunities in this direction, Dato Ramesh Kodammal said.

also batted for eased and increased cultural exchanges among students, academics and professionals.

"Cooperation and collaboration can do wonders as is evident from the state-of-the-art skill development centre set up by here, which has helped our youth extensively," he said.

The CM said Assam had extensive economic collaboration with Myanmar, and other countries of the region before independence but after 1947, transport linkages were snapped, resulting in "economic stagnation and social strife".

"Now with the Act East Policy, increased ties with South East Asian countries will lead to a vibrant Assam," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 04 2018. 20:20 IST