GUWAHATI, July 16: As part of a familiarisation visit, 20 journalists from ASEAN countries called on Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal under India-ASEAN Media Exchange Programme at the clatter’s office conference room at Janata Bhawan on Monday. The India-ASEAN Media Exchange programme is arranged with an aim to provide exposure to the ASEAN media on contemporary developments in India. The Programme is coordinated by the External Affairs Ministry, Government of India.
Taking part in the interaction with the visiting journalists, Sonowal called upon them to work with a common vision to renew the age old relations between Assam and the ASEAN nations. He also urged them to push forward the Assam government’s initiatives in their respective nations for improved connectivity, especially air connectivity between Guwahati and the capital cities of the ASEAN countries and setting up consulates of ASEAN nations in Guwahati.
“We are next door neighbours. We have a common history, which started with Chaolung Sukafa’s arrival in Assam from Yunnan. Our government wants to strengthen this relationship and give it a new dimension through regular exchange of dialogue for better connectivity and trade & commerce”, Sonowal said adding that the visiting journalists could play a significant role in taking forward Assam Government’s endeavours by way of their writings and media reports. He also emphasised on youth and cultural exchange programmes for mutual benefit.
The chief minister said that the Act East Policy enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a major thrust to India’s dialogue with the ASEAN countries with Assam as the nerve centre. He further said that India and the ASEAN nations could meaningfully gain from the relationship cemented by the Act East Policy considering the rich repository of natural and human resources in the India’s east.
“We must work together to grow together”, Sonowal said underlining the potential which could be channelized for mutual growth. He also informed them about the youth and women empowerment programmes like Digital India, Start-up India, Skill India and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao etc., which are being presently implemented in the country. He also informed them about the breakthroughs being made in terms of air, road and water connectivity to boost India’s relations with the ASEAN nations.
The journalists’ team led by Rajendra Kumar, Publicity Officer, External Affairs Ministry, Government of India also shared their experience in Assam during the interaction.
Media adviser to the chief minister Hrishikesh Goswami and director of information & public relations Rajiv Prakash Baruah were also present during the visit.