Imphal: A two days Conclave Act East to Indo-Pacific: Role of Northeast and Indian States in “Connecting the Connectivites” was launched at the Classic Grande, here on Saturday.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh, at the inaugural session, said the North East connects India to one of the most economically dynamic and politically significant geographies of the world.
For effective implementation of Act East Policy, the state government is working on formulating a feasible blueprint for its successful execution. The ongoing India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project is progressing while connectivity with ASEAN will further expand to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, Biren said.
Biren explained the need to finalise various aspects of the the Look East Policy, which has now become the Act East Policy including the state’s responsibility, infrastructural development, responsibility and benefits for the state entrepreneurs, etc. and further expressed the need for a concrete blueprint.
He expressed confidence that the two-day conclave would certainly come up with some concrete blueprint or roadmap. Such a platform would provide deeper insights of the strategic landscape and developmental trends, he added.
Developing a secure and prosperous North Eastern Region will be in the interest of the country, he said adding that the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has already identified the region as the New Engine for development of India.
A vibrant, dynamic, prosperous and resilient North-East is India’s strength and the region has the potential to be the growth engine for the country in the 21st century, he said adding that turning this into reality would require among others, understanding the challenges and opportunities related to connectivity, commerce, contacts, security and human capital development.
One of the key foundations towards development and growth of the region, the chief minister said, is based on ensuring robust and resilient connectivity infrastructure. And towards this objective, completion of projects such as Trilateral highway Project, Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, SASEC Road Connectivity Projects would be transformative, he added.
Plans for Asian Railways through Moreh-Tamu by extending the rail line beyond Imphal will boost trade, commerce, and promote sectors such as logistics, tourism, services, etc. creating livelihood and employment opportunities, he added.
The government is making efforts to strengthen road connectivity in and along the border areas and that air connectivity in the state has also improved significantly, Biren said.
Under schemes like UDAN, regional connectivity network have expanded. Plans for international flights from airports in the region to neighbouring countries would deepen the connects in the wider region he added.
He highlighted the necessity for Manipur and other states of the region to be mindful of the security dimensions due to its strategic location and said that law and order in the state has improved significantly and steps are being taken up to augment border management and further strengthen the security environment. Bandhs and blockades are things of the past now, he added.
While stating that the Integrated Check Post at Moreh is now functional and that better infrastructure at police stations at Behiang, Sangaikot, Singhat and Tamei have been constructed, the chief minister also said that construction of 34 Police Outposts along the Indo-Myanmar International border and six along the National Highway-37 have been approved.
Minister of state for external affairs, Dr Raj Kumar Ranjan said there are physical connectivity projects underway, projects which connect the region with the neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh. Connectivity between North Eastern states and the rest of the country has also made tremendous progress, he said, adding that when we talk about connectivity, we don’t talk just about physical connectivity, he said, adding that there are other forms of connectivity including power, energy, digital and financial connectivity.
The inaugural session was also attended by executive director, Asian Confluence Sabyasachi Dutta, vice-chancellor, Manipur University Prof. N. Lokendra Singh, joint secretary, PP&R, ministry of external affairs Dr. Sumith Seth and Prof. Ch. Ibohal Meitei, Manipur University among others.
The conclave will also have moderated conversations and panel discussions on various topics.