Infra development vital to boost connectivity in North East
Dr. Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, addressing the workshop. FCouncil ICCI North East Advisory
along with the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, and Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management, Shillong organised a workshop on the theme 'Looking East through Northeast: Development and Connectivity' in Shillong.
In his keynote address, Dr. Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, said in order to bridge the gap between borders, it was important to first bridge the disconnect between people. The Chief Minister appreciated the efforts made by FICCI and its partners in organising the workshop.
Ranjit Barthakur, Chairman, FICCINE Advisory Council, highlighted the importance of developing infrastructure to boost connectivity through economic activity. He said that the discussion paper on 'India's North East Frontier – The Bridge from ASEAN to India' prepared by FICCI is an important step in this direction and stressed the need for connecting the North East with South East Asia. He also called for better delivery decisions in project implementation and an inclusive growth strategy for the region. Barthakur felt that the unique social, environmental and economic situation of the north east had an important bearing upon business dynamics. Therefore it was important for businesses to take this into consideration while framing their strategies.
Falguni Rajkumar, Chairman, IIMShillong, said that in future sea trade routes in the region were likely to become increasingly problematic and this would make a land route through north east inevitably viable.
Prof. Tan Tai Yong, Director, Institute of South Asian Studies, also addressed the audience.
During the workshop various issues related to Centre-State relationships were discussed besides the Look East Policy with special reference to the north east. The panellists felt that the Look East Policy needed to be better defined and implemented in order to have a positive impact on the region.