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ASEAN leaders urged to reap benefits from Act East Policy

 ITANAGAR, Aug 8 - Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein has said that the cultural similarity between the people of the ASEAN countries and the North-east should become the fulcrum of friendship and the bedrock of all policies, both diplomatic and economic.He said this during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership in Lao People’s Republic capital Vientiane yesterday, an official communique said here today.

Mein said India is on the path to forge a strong partnership with the ASEAN countries under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi’s Act East Policy will be a game changer for the north-eastern states of India.

Stressing on India’s cultural diversity and the cultural similarities of the North-east with most ASEAN countries, he said this should be reinforced through regular bilateral cultural exchanges.

Mein also called for developing an institutional mechanism in this direction to enhance people-to-people contact and create a platform for developing better understanding and opportunities of economic activities in due course of time, the release said.

He urged the ASEAN leaders to take full benefit of the agreement on trade in goods under the framework agreement on comprehensive economic cooperation between India and the ASEAN countries.

He also proposed to the ASEAN-India Business Council to consider organising a business-to-business meeting in the North-east for greater cooperation and understanding between the two regions.

Mein also highlighted the diverse tribal culture, immense potential in tourism, horticulture and hydro power sectors of Arunachal Pradesh.

He invited the ASEAN to look at investment in infrastructure development such power evacuation as Arunachal Pradesh is also known as the powerhouse of India.

He called for early re-opening of the historic Stilwell or Ledo Road that starts from Assam and passes through Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar and culminates at Kunming in China.

“This road will facilitate transportation of produces of Arunachal Pradesh to Myanmar and vice-versa and there will be considerable complimentary trade opportunities on both sides,” he said. – PTI

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