"The entire North East and South East Asian countries have a collective market of 800 million population and it is imperative that the region, which has huge potential, must be viewed in an investment friendly manner," Sonowal said during a panel discussion organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) 'India@75' conclave here.
He said the North East is now absolutely peaceful and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiative to ensure connectivity under the 'Act East Policy' will help create a presence for the region in the global market.
"Earlier, Assam was known for violence, flood and erosion but the prime minister, who has visited the region 29 times during the last five years, has changed the narrative. Guwahati was earlier the gateway of North East, but now it is destined to be the gateway to South East Asia," he added.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that his state is the largest in the region with the richest diversity and immense potentialities but connectivity was a sore issue which is being successfully addressed by both the Union and state governments.
"We are ready to make tailor-made policies and the investors can judiciously use the resources to generate employment and income for the young generation and help in creating a new India," he said.
Referring to hydel projects, Khandu said that clearance for them takes 5-7 years and the local population have to taken into confidence as they are extremely attached to the environment.
He said that his government has adopted the vision 'Meghalaya@50 in 2022' as the state will be half-a-century-old then and entrepreneurs are being promoted to utilise the huge potential in varied fields.
He also called for promoting North East as a brand with a focus on infrastructural connectivity with ASEAN and BIMSTEC countries.
Tripura has a very high literacy rate, human capital, surplus power which it sells to Bangladesh and the neighbouring country has agreed to give access to the Chittagong port soon which will lead to great economic change not only for the state but for the entire region.
"Tripura has shed its ideological baggage and is receptive to new ideas," he added.
A state of the art skill development centre would be set up in the region, strengthen its women's wing - Indian Women Network - to empwer women and promote techonology, innovations and startups in the region, he added.
Earlier, the CII felicitated four sportswomen of the region - M C Mary Kom for boxing, S Mirabai Chanu for weightlifting, Dipa Karmakar for gymnastics and Hima Das for athletics under its sports promotion initiative.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)