Guwahati, May 10, 2012:
HE Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Republic of Singapore & Jonathan Tow Shen Han, Acting High Commissioner, Republic of Singapore today met the members of Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and captains of various sectors that includes Tea, Tourism, Hospitality, Healthcare, Education, Real Estate , Infrastructure , Power, Agro & Food Processing & Fisheries, Handloom & Handicraft, Oil & Gas of Northeast India in a Business Luncheon Meet organized by Indian Chamber of Commerce. Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam today said his country wants to strengthen business presence in the North East with hospitality and tourism as the major potential areas of cooperation.
HE Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Republic of Singapore said addressing the Business Luncheon Meet here in Guwahati organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce that ‘ASEAN Connectivity with Northeast India important to explore and tap NE India’s potential. After his arrival in the land of red rivers and Blue Mountains I am convinced that the Northeast India has the potential and is an ideal investment destination for ASEAN countries as this region and Assam shares common border area with ASEAN countries. He also informed that this is his introductory visit to this part of the and he further added that entrepreneurs of Republic of Singapore would be interested on reciprocal business. Republic of Singapore could make this happen only in association with the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Govt. of India,’. Mr Shanmugam visited the holy shakti peeth Maa Kamakhya Temple earlier this morning.
“Assam and the North East are generally not identified as business destinations but the fact is that beneath the surface, the region has great potential,” Shanmugam, who is on a day-long trip said here while addressing local industry leaders and senior government officials.
“It is heartening to know that the security situation is improving in the region. The region is exciting from the point of view of the hospitality sector and we believe there is opportunity for Singapore business houses to tap the potential of hospitality in the North East,” he said.
Singapore, one of the founding members of the 10-nation ASEAN grouping, is also looking at the North Eastern states as bridge between it and India.
“We think Assam and the North East has potential beyond investment destinations. There is also the issue of connectivity,” he said.
“There are plans within the ASEAN to establish strong connectivity between north and south and I know that the Indian government also has plans to connect the North East to some of the ASEAN countries. These are plans which have to be taken further,” Shanmugam said.
He said another India-ASEAN car rally, on the lines of the one undertaken in 2004, is being planned. “We are planning another car rally. This time it will start (from somewhere) in ASEAN and culminate in Guwahati,” the Minister said.
Kumar Sanjay Krishna IAS Secretary Planning and Development Govt. of Assam, H S Das IAS Secretary Tourism Govt. of Assam represented Govt. of Assam , Garima Saikia Garg Ethnic Designer, Anuj Paliwal MD Third Eye Infosys, Rajib Dutta MD Epitome Group, Chiranjeet Chaliha MD Purbanchal Pratisthan, Bidyananda Borkotoky of Northeast Tea Association , N N Dutta of Down Town Hospitals, Bijay Phangcho MD Flamingo Distilaries , Ashish Phookan MD Jungle Travels India, Prawal Bora MD Travel Smart were few amongst 25 invitees who joined the BLM with the Singapore delegates.
In his welcome address the Director General of Indian Chamber of Commerce Dr. Rajeev Singh briefed the Singapore Minister and delegates on demography and business potential of Northeast India. ICC presented Assam Darjeeling and Nilgiri Leaf Tea as momentoes to all visiting delegates with flower bouquet and phoolam gamocha. A 8 minute video produced by ICC on Northeast-Opportunities’ Unlimited was shown in the inaugural session which was appreciated by the Singapore delegates. Singapore team too made a PPT presentation on their expected business potential with NE India. Assamese ethnic foods along with Indian dishes were served at luncheon meet. The visiting delegation left for CM’s residence from ICC meeting to call on Tarun Gogoi.