The CM stressed on the need to work together by all the northeastern states to harness the region’s true development potential Credit: Twitter

Guwahati: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday took part in the inaugural function of 8th North East Festival hosted at hotel Radisson Blu and gave the keynote address highlighting the tourism potential, cultural vividness and diversity of the northeastern region. He also appreciated the effort of the organisers of the festival to showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage and project it as a tourism hotspot to the outside world.

Saying that the region has immense natural resources, the CM stressed on the need to work together by all the northeastern states to harness the region’s true development potential. He also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making Northeast an organic hub through concerted efforts. The PM has enunciated the Act East Policy which entails the development of the entire North-Eastern region at a pace never seen before in last 70 years of India’s nationhood, he asserted.

Reiterating that Act East Policy has opened newer avenues for the Northeast to facilitate economic and cultural exchanges with the South East Asian and ASEAN countries, Sonowal stressed on the importance of capturing the entire market of South East Asia with knowledge, skill and hard work so that Northeast can become India’s gateway to South-East Asia.

Referring to the exposure tour provided to 14 progressive farmers to Vietnam by the State Government, Sonowal cited the Vietnamese model where they have been able to export agricultural goods worth Rs 30 million US dollars by doing value addition, and he advocated a similar model for the Northeastern states. He also urged the festival organisers to highlight the achievements and success stories of every state through the festival and suggested holding of interaction programmes with the youths.

Participating virtually in the programme, Union MoS of DONER Dr. Jitendra Singh elaborated on the importance of events like North East Festival in furthering the cause of tourism, commerce and industry and he also dwelled on the steps taken by Prime Minister Modi to enhance road, air and water communication infrastructure in the region.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Foreign Secretary Harshbardhan Shringla, Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, organiser of the event Shaymkanu Mahanta also spoke at the programme among others.

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