NE future depends on relations with neighbouring countries



Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday said that the future of North-East depends on the relationship with its eastern neighbouring countries.

North-East and South East Asia were inter dependent and the future of the region depends on its relationship with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar, Gogoi said at the inaugural session of 'Maitree Summit, 2013--India Bangladesh High Potential Leaders Dialogue on Peace', organised here by Youth Forum on Foreign Policy (YFFP).

Addressing the inaugural session, titled 'India and Bangladesh: Shared History and Geography', the Chief minister highlighted the shared cultural and geographical ties between the two countries.

''There are problems such as a porous border and smuggling as well as sharing of river waters but we also share some common problems like flood and erosion by the mighty Brahmaputra'', Gogoi said.

Referring to the issue of foreign policy, the Chief Minister said that in recent times most issues were being increasingly linked to the country's foreign policy and he urged youths to get more involved in the country's foreign affairs to make it more dynamic.

British Deputy High Commissioner (Eastern India) Sanjay Wadhwani said on the occasion that the northeast had witnessed gradual development over the years and also emphasized the role of trade in enhancing ties.

Wadhwani, however, admitted that there were still considerable hurdles in various sector but the Northeast could achieve its full potential with concerted effort.

International Affairs Secretary of Bangladesh Awami Jubo League Dr Shazzad Haider highlighted the initiatives taken by the Sheikh Hasina government in Bangaldesh to address the water dispute between India and Bangladesh.

He also emphasised the need to develop a joint platform between India and Bangladesh to develop India's North-east region.

The summit also held different sessions on 'Bridging the Gap through academic cooperation', 'Labour and skill development in 21st century' and 'Infrastructure concerns of India and Bangladesh'.

President of the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs Rahul Mirchandani, speaking at the session on 'Infrastructure concerns of India and Bangladesh', pointed out that the key issue to fuel economic growth was by improvement in infrastructure and the first issue was the building of knowledge infrastructure to support innovation.

Managing Partner Asian Tiger Capital Partners Ifty Islam highlighted Bangladesh as a viable investment option and also as one of the most stable economies in Asia.

Islam pointed out that Bangladesh was projected to grow at over six per cent for the current year, which was more than India’s growth rate.

Head Foreign Policy Division of Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Rajeev Chaturvedy said that skill development was a critical aspect of India?s economic policies but lack of training was conspicuous and even in the government sector it was fragmented.

YFFP Founder Gaurav Gogoi highlighted the loss of human capital in the Northeast, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s, and pointed out that the issue of infrastructure must be linked to labour and skill development.

PTI