The Northeastern states will be playing a big role during the India-ASEAN Summit in January.
Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj called in the governors of seven Northeastern states and the lieutenant-general of Andaman and Nicobar Islands for a meeting-to begin the process of integration of domestic and foreign policy.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, tweeted, ‘The interactive discussion will feed into the deliberations at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit 2018 featuring an enhanced role for the Northeastern Region, India’s gateway to the ASEAN.’
According to sources, all governors came with suggestions.
Bhutan will be the first country to open up a consulate in Guwahati, but India will open up Guwahati for select countries such as Japan as well. Japan is becoming a major development partner for India’s Northeast transformation programme.
For the first time, Assam and its current BJP government will host an ‘Invest Assam’ Summit, on the lines of ‘Vibrant Gujarat’, which will see heads of state of several ASEAN countries hoping to create economic linkages.
The leadership push is being given by president Ram Nath Kovind, who had recently visited three northeastern states. Opening the northeast development summit, Kovind said, ‘If you consider the hundreds and thousands of years of civilisation, far from being a frontier, the Northeast has been at the heart of Indian imagination. And if you take South Asia and Southeast Asia as a continuum – as it has been perceived for most of history-then the Northeast is right in the middle of it. Its geographical location makes it the obvious gateway to India, linking the vast economies of the Indian subcontinent and of today’s ASEAN countries.’
Source: Times of India