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Resourceful N-E key to India’s overture to set up ties with SE Asia: President


GUWAHATI:  The President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said the geographical location of the North East was key to India’s efforts to get connected to Southeast Asian region under the Act East Policy.

Addressing the closing function of Namami Barak Festival in Silchar in Barak Valley of South Assam, the President said, “India is being connected to Southeast Asia under the Act East Policy, taking advantage of the geographical location of the Northeast, including Assam.”

He pointed out that tremendous potential for growth of business and trade links between Southeast Asia and the Northeast region of India and exuded confidence that with the development of infrastructure by Centre and state governments, this region would become a driver of international trade and commerce.

On cross-border initiatives to promote bilateral trade and commerce, the President said trade with Bangladesh was being promoted through the Border Trade Centre located in Karimganj district in Barak Valley.

Later in the day, the President attended a civic reception hosted at Guwahati University in Guwahati where he appealed all sections of people to contribute towards nation building by imbibing the values of honesty, integrity and commitment.

Kovind said, “Anyone can contribute to nation building. It is by fulfilling whatever roles we have in the society with honesty, integrity and commitment.”

He narrated a tale from the life of Chanakya on refraining from use of government resources for private works and said, “It was by maintaining the highest standards of honesty, integrity and commitment that Chanakya could play an integral role in forming the erstwhile kingdom of ‘Magadh’, whose boundaries extended beyond modern India and laid the foundation for this great nation.”

Stressing on ‘education as tool of development’, Kovind elucidated to the centres of higher education in the forms of the universities of Nalanda and Takshila, among others, in the ancient times.

He said, “Scholars from other countries would come to study at these universities. These universities taught us the basics of nation building and embracing the world.”

“Assam has developed industries such as oil and natural gas, tea, and silk. By building modern infrastructure, the prospects for Assam and the entire Northeast will be even greater,” he said.

The President said that the tourism industry had immense scope in Assam which is already an important part of the tourist map due to the Kaziranga and Manas National Parks.

He was confident that by facilitating the right ecosystem for tourism, the Government of Assam could multiply the economic and social benefits of the tourism industry.






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