Guwahati: Union Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday had inaugurated the 2nd ASEAN-India Youth Summit at Hotel Taj Vivanta in Guwahati.
Over 100 youth delegates from Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia took part in the summit tag-lined Connectivity: Pathway to Shared Prosperity, organised by India Foundation and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that, that the 2nd ASEAN- India Youth Summit being held in Guwahati will help in spearheading development of the region which will be propelled exclusively by the youth forces.
“In the present day world order, friendly relations among the 10 ASEAN countries and three BBN countries are of immense importance for promoting and strengthening the mutual interests like trade and commerce, education, health, connectivity, socio-cultural integration etc. Talking on the importance of youth led development in India and elsewhere in ASEAN countries,” Sonowal said
Sonowal during his brief address touched upon the areas like human resources, spiritual resources, tourism resources and on the top of everything is country’s IT resources and urged upon the youth from all the ASEAN countries to explore these areas and set an agenda for working together to script a success story for all the countries of the region.
“India is moving forward under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who has enunciated the Act East Policy which entails increased people to people contact, trade and other relations with countries on India’s east particularly ASEAN countries. Prime Minister has put North Eastern Region at the heart of the Act East Policy. The policy puts North East, which has so far been treated as a land locked region, at the center of India’s interaction with ASEAN,” Sonowal said.
The Assam CM also said that many of ASEAN capitals are within 2,000 kilometre flying distance from Guwahati which is comparable to flying distance of Guwahati to many Indian cities. With locational advantage of sharing over 4500 km of international boundary –North East Region has all the potentials of emerging as a new growth hub.
“Guwahati which has been pitched to be the gateway to South East Asian countries, infrastructural capacity of the city is being upgraded considerably. The construction of an Integrated Terminal at LGBI Airport involving a financial outlay of Rs 1300 crore is going on in full swing. Sonowal also advocated that all the countries belonging to ASEAN and BBN countries need to work as a family to realize the common agenda of the respective countries,” Sonowal said.
Union Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons while speaking on the occasion, said that in view of xenophobic ideas that are taking toll to the present day society, youth delegates from different ASEAN countries should think beyond ‘my own people, my own country’ for a mutually tolerant all encompassing world order.
Talking about the yogic philosophy that India has given worldwide, the minister said that the yogic philosophy which underscores ‘I want to be happy and others also need to be happy’ should be followed everywhere.
He also said that the ASEAN countries need to work together to realize goal of the ASEAN-India collaborative year.
“India is famous for its tourism potentials which has helped the country to earn nearly 234 billion dollars in last financial year as he urged upon the foreign delegates to make an extensive tour to India’s North East and discover the region,” Alphons said.
Deputy Secretary General ASEAN Socio Cultural Community Kung Phoak speaking on the occasion said that the presence of delegates from all ASEAN countries in the Summit is the testimony to our commitment to shared goal that is mutual friendship and mutually agreeable initiatives.
He also hoped that the new Summit would take the ASEAN-India strategic partnership to a new height.
The summit will conclude on February 7.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)