CM Biren highlights Manipur’s close historical association with World War-II at international business summit

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Imphal: Manipur’s close historical associations with the World War-II and Battle of Imphal was the turning point of one of the most grueling campaigns of the war, chief minister N. Biren Singh said on Thursday.

​“We have preserved and developed the INA Headquarter,” Biren said and highlighted the Imphal War Cemetery which contains 1600 Commonwealth burials of WW-II and Japanese constructed India Peace Memorial.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of the One Day International Business Summit, Gateway Manipur-Connecting ASEAN Countries at Sangai Hall, Hotel Imphal, here.

Under the UDAAN Scheme of the government of India there are plans to start international flights from Imphal Airport to Mandalay and Bangkok, Biren said.

The Imphal International Airport is the third-busiest airport in North-East India and that ongoing development works including a new integrated terminal and Air Cargo terminal, will further consolidate the air connectivity infrastructure in the state.

​Stating that the North East connects India to one of the most economically dynamic and politically significant geographies of the world, the chief minister stressed that as the global power axis shifts to the Indo-Pacific, developing a secure and prosperous North Eastern Region as a convergence of India’s “Act East Policy” and “Neighbourhood First Policy” will be vital pillar towards realising a common vision of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” ​

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Towards realizing this vision, improved connectivity will be critical to unlock the full potential and business opportunities in the region, he added.

Manipur is the land gateway to ASEAN and beyond. Better connectivity would have a positive impact on sectors like tourism, logistics, services sector, healthcare, education, IT and IT enabled services towards ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth, he said.

“Improvement of National Highways to Moreh (Indo-Myanmar border town in Manipur) is nearing completion and that completion of regional projects such as Trilateral Highway Project, Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project and SASEC Road Connectivity Projects would be transformative for Manipur and the North-East of India,” the chief minister said.

He said rail network has reached Manipur and that there are plans for Asian Railways through Moreh-Tamu by extending the rail line beyond Imphal.

He highlighted the endangered Sangai deer, Keibul Lamjao the only floating National Park in the world and the Shirui Lily found only in the Shirui Hills in Ukhrul.

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Manipuri Dance is one of the classical dances of India, Sankirtana ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur are inscribed on the Representative List of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and that the Manipuri Cinema and theatre have also brought laurels for the country, Biren said.

He highlighted the proud sporting culture of the state and said the small state has already produced numerous sportspersons including 19 Olympians. He said an Olympian Park is being constructed in honour of the Olympians.

“Manipur is also the birthplace of Modern Polo. We have inaugurated the annual Sagol Kangjei Tournament, traditional version of polo, from this year to preserve the link between modern and traditional polo.”

​The chief minister also spoke about the Manipur Start-Up and said that Venture Fund was launched and Credit Guarantee Scheme set up for MSMEs and StartUps in Manipur.

He said the state government continues to give priority to develop and promote local food products, handlooms and handicrafts. Aromatic Black Rice and Pineapples are some of the produce exported recently to Europe and Middle East.

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He also highlighted the implementation of the ‘One product One district’ and that the state is in the process of identifying One Product for Each Sub-division.

“I believe the deliberations and discussion of today’s business summit would provide new insights and fresh perspectives to pave the way for Manipur,” the chief minister said.

He welcomed the participants to the Manipur Sangai Festival and said “I hope you all will get to experience the rich cultural heritage of Manipur during the festival and take back lasting memories.”

The inaugural session was also attended by minister Counsellor (Commercial) Royal Thai Embassy, Thailand  Saithong Soiphet, minister Counsellor (Commercial) Royal Thai Embassy to India Surapat Phosaen, general secretary, India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, SM Abdul Kalam Azad and CEO, Textiles Sector Skill Council Swapra Mishra.

The summit was organised by the Manipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in association with the Government of Manipur. The inaugural session was followed by a technical presentation, technical session and interaction.

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