Sonowal on Saturday took part in the inaugural function of 8
th North East Festival at a city hotel and gave the key note address highlighting the tourism potential, cultural vividness and diversity of the NE region. He also appreciated the effort of the organisers of the festival to showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage and project it as a tourism hotspot to the outside world.
Saying that the NE region has immense natural resources, the Chief Minister stressed on the need to work together by all the NE states to harness the region’s true development potential and he also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making NE an organic hub through concerted efforts. The Prime Minister has enunciated the Act East Policy which entails development of the entire North Eastern region at a pace never seen before in last 70 years of India’s nationhood, he asserted.
Reiterating that Act East Policy has opened newer avenues for the NE to facilitate economic and cultural exchanges with the SE Asian and ASEAN countries, Sonowal stressed on the importance of capturing the entire market of SE Asia with knowledge, skill and hardwork so that NE can become the India’s gateway to SE Asia.
Referring to the exposure tour provided to 14 progressive farmers to Vietnam by the State Government, Sonowal cited the Vietnamese model where they have been able to export agricultural goods worth Rs 30 million US dollars by doing value addition and he advocated a similar model for the NE states. He also urged the festival organisers to highlight the achievements and success stories of every NE state through the festival and suggested holding of interaction programmes with the youths.
Participating virtually in the programme, Union MoS of DONER Dr. Jitendra Singh elaborated on the importance of events like North East Festival in furthering the cause of NE tourism, commerce and industry and he also dwelled on the steps taken by Prime Minister Modi to enhance road, air and water communication infrastructure in the region.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, in his speech, also spoke about the various steps taken by Prime Minister Modi for rapid development of the region and he highlighted how Tripura had only road connectivity before and how railways and airways have been augmented in the State by the present Central Government.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Foreign Secretary Harshbardhan Shringla, Indurties and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, organiser of the event Shaymkanu Mahanta also spoke at the programme among others.