Unexplored potential of NE needs to be tapped: Centre

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‘NE spearheading India’s collaboration with ASEAN nations’

NEW DELHI, Nov 11 (PTI): Union minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said India’s collaboration with the ASEAN countries has been spearheaded by the northeastern region, which has unexplored potential that needs to be tapped.

Addressing the inaugural session of the India-ASEAN Business summit here, Singh, the Union Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been emphasising on closer and progressive collaboration with the ASEAN nations and also focussing on the development of the region.

The Northeast has unexplored potential which needs to be tapped and the region has been spearheading the collaboration with the ASEAN countries, he said.

Singh said the collaboration with the ASEAN countries will play an important role in India’s target of achieving USD five trillion economy, as envisaged by PM Modi.

The 10 ASEAN countries are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The minister said the three essentials form ease of doing business are connectivity, communication and ease of regulations.

Giving the example of the northeast, he said connectivity in the region has been the main focus of the current government with Sikkim getting its first airport last year.

Singh said Itanagar will also soon get an airport and both Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have got rail links in the recent past.

The government is in the process of flagging off the first train to Bangladesh from Agartala and waterways being developed on the Brahamputra river, the Union minister said.

Referring to the tourism potential of the northeaster region, he said tourism has grown manifold in the recent years, specially the home-stay tourism in the region.

Many initiatives have been taken to promote start-ups in the northeast, such as tax holiday, provision of exit period and ‘venture fund’ which is being offered by the DoNER ministry.

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