Imphal: Stating that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to re-look at the existing global supply chains, work towards securing our supply chains from unforeseen shocks, through diversification and re-shoring; Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Education Dr RK Ranjan maintained that the North East India is well placed to leverage this opportunity as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, else, the PM would not be calling the North East to be the new engine of growth for India.
Addressing the B-20 meeting held in Kohima on Wednesday, Dr RK Ranjan stated that Prime Minister Modi’s unique initiatives, like the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for the North East Region (PM-DevINE), showcase the importance of being attached to the development of the North East Region by the Government.
He conveyed that these initiatives are over and above the fact that over the last eight years, the number of airports in the region has jumped from 9 to 16 and that the number of flights connecting the region has increased from about 900, before 2014, to around 1900 today.
He asserted that many North Eastern States have come to the Indian Railway map, for the first time. Efforts are being made to expand the waterways also. The length of highways in the region has increased by 50 percent since 2014, he added.
The Union Minister stated that the Northeast is India’s gateway to Southeast Asia and the region will have seamless land connectivity with the heart of ASEAN, and beyond, once the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway is complete. We are continuously working for seamless land and rail connectivity with Bangladesh, he added.
Dr RK Ranjan stated that the North East today, can be seen as the center of a potentially dynamic region of the world, surrounded by the ASEAN, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and off course mainland India. Our friends from the business community, should consider this factor, while exploring opportunities in the North East Region, he averred.
The Union Minister noted that the North East is front and center, to our political leadership today and that the region is offering immense and relatively unexplored market opportunities today.
He also expressed confidence that this Business 20 event in Nagaland, will give an unique opportunity to know the North East, examine opportunities in the region from close quarters.
Our youth today play a critical role in the hospitality and care-giving sectors across India. We have a rich human resource base. They will grow your business for you in the North East, and beyond advantage; apart from of-course being located in the middle of our land corridor with our ASEAN neighbors, he continued.
The Union Minister exuded confidence that Kohima, will be etched in your memory for a long time to come, saying Nagaland is uniquely beautiful. Naga hospitality is legendary.
It is indeed opportune and well timed, that a B- 20 event is being organised in Kohima; one of the furthest points from India’s center. Yet, Kohima and the North East Region of India, is central to our connection with our immediate neighbors to our East, be it ASEAN or South Asian, he stated.
Prime Minister Modi envisioned that India’s G-20 Presidency should be celebrated in every corner of the country. It was he who envisioned that India, in all its glory, should be showcased to the world. Hosting of this B-20 event in Kohima today, is an outcome of that vision, he stated, thanking CII and the G 20 Secretariat and the Government of Nagaland for fructifying this vision.
Friends from the Business Community, Presidency of the G20 is a moment of pride for us. It is momentous, as it gives us an opportunity to pro-actively contribute to shaping the agenda and the outcome. It is momentous, as India’s Presidency comes at a critical juncture in international relations, as we emerge from the pandemic, just to highlight one, he added.