Conclave on Act East to Indo-Pacific... CM highlights strategic location of NE


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Imphal, Oct 29 (DIPR)
Chief Minister N Biren Singh has categorically stated that the North East India connects the country to one of the most economically dynamic and politically significant geographies of the world.
The Chief Minister made the remark at the inaugural session of a conclave on 'Act East to Indo-Pacific: Role of Northeast and Indian States in Connecting the Connectivites' held at Classic Grande, here today.
Speaking as the chief  guest, N Biren also highlighted the importance of the Act East Policy while explaining the need to finalise various aspects of the policy including the State’s responsibility, infrastructural deve- lopment, responsibility and benefits for the State entrepreneurs, etc.
He expressed confidence that the two-day conclave would certainly come up with some concrete blueprint or roadmap and provide deeper insights of the strategic landscape and develop- mental trends.
Developing a secure and prosperous North Eastern region will be in the interest of the country, he said and added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already identified the region as the new engine for development of India.
A vibrant, dynamic, prosperous and resilient North- East is India’s strength and the region has the potential to be the growth engine for the country in the 21st century, he said adding that turning this into reality would require among others, understanding the challenges and opportunities related to connectivity, commerce, contacts, security and human capital development.
One of the key foundations towards development and growth of the region, the Chief Minister said, is based on ensuring robust and resilient connectivity infrastructure. And towards this objective, completion of projects such as Trilateral Highway Project, Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project and SASEC Road Connectivity Projects would be transformative.
N Biren Singh also said that plans for Asian Railways through Moreh-Tamu by extending the rail line beyond Imphal will boost trade, commerce, and promote sectors such as logistics, tourism, services, etc creating livelihood and employment opportunities.
On connectivity, the Chief Minister said the Government is making efforts to strengthen road connectivity in and along the border areas and that air connectivity in the State has also improved significantly.
Under schemes like UDAN, the regional connectivity network has expanded, he said, explaining that plans for international flights from airports in the region to neighbouring countries would deepen the connection in the wider region.
The Chief Minister also highlighted the necessity for Manipur and other States of the region to be mindful of the security dimensions due to its strategic location and said that law and order in the State has improved significantly and steps are being taken up to augment border management and further strengthen the security environment.
Bandhs and blockades are things of the past now, he added.
While stating that the Integrated Check Post at Moreh is now functional and that better infrastructure at police stations at Behiang, Sangaikot, Singhat and Tamei have been constructed, the Chief Minister continued that construction of 34 police outposts along the Indo-Myanmar international border and six along the National Highway 37 have been approved.
He said that projects for border fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border are being taken up to fence 60.23 km of the international border.
The Chief Minister also highlighted initiatives like the War on Drugs 2.0, Highway Patrol Units, Manipur Start-Up, Health for All etc.
Over 200 MSMEs have achieved a turnover of at least Rs 1 crore, he said, adding that the first building of the IT-SEZ will be ready soon and is expected to create employment opportunities for about 1,500-2000 persons.
Further in his speech, the Chief Minister said that the State Government continues to give priority and importance to develop adequate tourism infrastructures and service sector in the State and that agro-industry is being promoted under various schemes.
N Biren expressed hope that the discussions and deliberations of the conclave would throw light on a way forward for synchronizing the efforts of various stakeholders towards a coordinated and collective response dovetailing the strategic interest of India in the Indo-Pacific region.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs Dr RK Ranjan Singh who attended the session as functional president said that some projects are underway to connect the region with neighbouring countries, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
 Connectivity between North East States and the rest of the country has also made tremendous progress, he said
"When we talk about connectivity, we don’t talk just about physical connectivity," he said, maintaining that there are other forms of connectivity too such as power, energy, digital and financial connectivity.
The inaugural session was also attended by Executive Director, Asian Confluence Sabyasachi Dutta, Vice Chancellor of Manipur University Prof N Lokendra Singh, Joint Secretary of PP&R, Ministry of External Affairs Dr Sumith Seth, and Prof Ch Ibohal Meitei of Manipur University, among others.