GUWAHATI, July 28: Chief minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said that North East can play a pivotal role in strengthening Indo-ASEAN and Indo-BBN relationship not only as a means of being gateway to the South East Asian Nations but as a springboard to facilitate bilateral trades and commerce with these countries.
Speaking as the chief guest in the 2nd North East India buyer-seller meet organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce in association with the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt of India at NEDFi House here on Thursday, chief minister Dr Sarma said that since North East is located in the middle of the fastest emerging nations of SouthEast Asia, the region has the potential to act as the springboard for the emergence of trade and commerce with these nations. He also said that the long international borders that the region shares with South East Asian and BBN countries including China gives it a unique geographical advantage for being a catalyst for the development of trade and commerce with these countries.
Presenting Assam before the international delegates in the meeting, chief minister Sarma said that Assam is the largest economy in the North Eastern region. The state has the reputation of being an industrial state because of its prolific tea, oil, coal and tourism industry. Assam is one of the biodiversity hot spots of the country with its 312 notified reserve forests, five national parks and 20 wildlife sanctuaries. Taking into consideration its well-established petro-chemical industry, the state can take the lead in producing green plastics which are in huge demand in developed markets. He also said that Assam is a home to some of the rarest wildlife species in the world along with rich flora and fauna which offer immense scope for wildlife tourism and investment.
The chief minister also said that the organic products of the state such as ginger, lemon, bhut jolokia, red rice, black rice, joha, pineapple, orange, jackfruit, banana, etc., have huge export potential.
Union minister of State for External Affairs Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Member NEC A.K. Gogoi also spoke during the inaugural ceremony of the meet.