Sonowal seeks Vietnam’s support to boost agri and trade in Assam

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 14: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal who is on a day long tour to Vietnam, on Monday met several top leaders of Vietnam Government and discussed economic and other bilateral issues to boost agriculture, trade and commerce in Assam.

Sonowal held separate discussions with deputy minister of agriculture and rural development, Government of Socialist Republic of Vietnam Ha Cong Tuan, Chairman of Vietnam’s External Relations Commission Hoang Binh Quan and Vice-Chairman of Central Economic Commission Cao Duc Phat at Hanoi in Vietnam. The chief minister was accompanied by state agriculture minister Atul Bora and 13 MLAs during the meetings.

The chief minister led delegation’s exposure tour has been undertaken in the right stead to get the first hand exposure of the farm practice of Vietnam and to take inputs for revitalising the agriculture sector of the state. Chief minister Sonowal in presence of the agriculture minister Atul Bora discussed with the deputy agriculture minister Ha Cong Tuan regarding utilising the modern technology and expertise of Vietnam farmers to help farmers of Assam to double their income.

During discussion, Sonowal appreciated the advancements that Vietnam has made in the field of paddy cultivation and requested the deputy minister of agriculture to extend his country’s support in improving the agriculture production in Assam. He also informed Tuan about the state government’s initiatives to double farmers’ income in the state.

The Vietnam minister also shared the country’s success stories in the agriculture sector during the discussion and how modern technology and advanced farmer friendly techniques helped agricultural growth in the country. He also assured the chief minister to look into the issues raised by him positively to help the state government’s efforts for doubling the farmers’ income.

Sonowal during his discussions with the Vice-Chairman of Central Economic Commission Cao Duc Phat requested him to take steps for setting up a Consulate Office of the Vietnam Government in Guwahati and organising Cultural and Youth Exchange program.

Phat during the discussion informed the chief minister how open market policy of Vietnam has changed the fortune of agriculture in that country.

On the other hand, during his meeting with the Chairman of External Relations Commission Hoang Binh Quan, Sonowal mentioned about the thrust given to the north eastern region of India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Act East Policy and different infrastructural advancements being made in recent years. He also emphasised on strengthening connectivity between Hanoi and Guwahati to promote tourism and trade. Chairman Hoang Binh Quan hailed Sonowal’s leadership in deepening the bilateral relations between Vietnam and Assam. He also lauded Sonowal’s initiative of leading the delegation to Vietnam which according to him would go a long way to further mutual benefits of both Vietnam and Assam.

Earlier, chief minister Sonowal visited Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Science, where the officials made a presentation on Vietnam’s agriculture, agricultural extension programme and research being carried out in the field of agriculture. The chief minister also made a field visit of the vegetable farm of the Academy to see the farming systems in that country.

Later in the evening, chief minister Sonowal also took part in an investment road-show at Hanoi where key business players of the country took part. Sonowal in his speech underlined the inherent advantages of better relations between Assam and Vietnam for trade and commerce. He highlighted the resources and other potentials of the state and urged the business leaders to investment in Assam.

It may be noted that Vietnam is second largest coffee producing country and highest in exporting pepper and Dragon fruits. As Assam shares affinity with Vietnam with regard to its environmental and agro climatic conditions, a mutually sound bilateral relation and economic cooperation could significantly help in the growth of both the geographical territories of the South East Asia.

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