6th Feb 2019 09:02:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The 2nd ASEAN- India Youth Summit is currently underway in Guwahati where Chief Minister Pema Khandu has attended and spoken at length about Arunachal Pradesh and the role it could play in coming days in light of the spirit of the congregation. 
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations ,ASEAN in short as we know, is a regional inter-governmental organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia, which promotes inter-governmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and socio-cultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
These ten countries are are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines,  Laos and Vietnam and the combined population of these nations is roughly  635.9 million +. And as far as economic strength goes, except for Singapore and Malaysia the rest can be bracketed as developing nations with deep urgency to upgrade themselves and earn the status of developed countries.
It is no wonder that these ASEAN countries view India as a trusted ally and thus we have a smooth relationship so far.And when it comes to economic relationship, India , in the eyes of these nation is a huge market to explore . Again, out of that the totality that is India, Notheast India is something very special to them keeping in mind the geographical proximity factor.Logically, Northeast is the gateway of ASEAN for trade and commerce with India with the converse equally true. 
To make it more lucid , if we want to raise our trade volume with ASEAN there will be no way we can do that without taking into confidence the Northeast in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular, the largest of the block in terms of area and having authentic and highest potential , almost in all respects. 
If we make an honest discourse, Northeast India, home to 45 million people and surrounded by 5300 kms of international borders could easily have been India’s portal to the east and given its geographic position, the richness of resources , the region could very well have been the new growth engine for the whole country.And these moments of ‘could well have been’ laments must have pained our Northeast leaders in these summit days.Hopefully they will also act as eye openers and lessons for our future course of actions.
To boost connectivity between Assam and South East Asia, direct flight from Guwahati to Dhaka and Bangkok will begin from March, was a declaration made gleefully by Assam Act East Policy Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary during the summit.This could have been very well from our CM ,if we had an airport. The region endowed with abundant natural resources, is far from realizing its true potential, poor connectivity and inadequate infrastructure being the major reasons.
Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons at this summit itself has said that the country’s tourism sector fetched USD 234 billion revenue last year, registering a growth of over 19 per cent.Arunachal has the potential to capture a major part in coming years. The people from these hot tropical ASEAN lands will be head over heels to find themselves in the enchanting weather of our state. The investment in airports and overall infrastructure may now seem heavy on the exchequer, but given the way lyrics of the Act East song is getting popularity, the return on investment will surpass one’s wildest of imagination for sure.Its now time to build everything superfast.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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