Dr Jitendra Singh addresses the inaugural session of India-ASEAN Business Summit
Minister emphasises on Connectivity, Communication and Ease of regulations
Dr Jitendra Singh said that for ease of doing business, there are three essentials, which are:i). Connectivity, ii). Communication and iii). Ease of regulations.Giving the example of North East, the Minister said that connectivity in NE has been the main focus of the current Government, with Sikkim getting its first airport last year. He said that that Itanagar will also soon get an airport. He also mentioned about train connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. He further said that we are in the process of flagging off first train to Bangladesh from Agartala. The Minister also mentioned the Inland waterways developed by the government down the Brahamputra river, which is one of the largest rivers of the world. While quoting the importance of waterways in the economy, the Minister said that the cost of cargo transportation by waterways is one fourth of the cost by train.
The Minister said the Prime Minister has been reiterating the emphasis on closer and progressive collaboration with ASEAN countries and also focus on development of North eastern region of India. This is important for business and trade development, the Minister added. Dr Jitendra Singh said that North east has unexplored potential which needs to be tapped. He added that the new engine of the ASEAN collaboration has been spearheaded by the north eastern region. He spoke about other initiatives in NE such as Brahamputra Study Centre, affiliation of Barooah Cancer Institute with Tata Memorial Centre, setting up of APJ Abdul Kalam Study Centre at IIMShillong, etc.
Speaking about the tourism potential of North East, the Minister said that tourism has grown manifold in the recent years, specially with Home stay tourism in the region. The Government will set up a Films and Training Institute of India (FTII) in Arunachal Pradesh, the Minister added. He added that many initiatives have been taken to promote start-ups in North east, such as tax holiday, provision of exit period and ‘Venture fund’ which is being offered by the DoNER Ministry. These initiatives have helped in curbing the youth exodus from the region, the Minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador, Royal Thai Embassy and Chair of ASEAN region, Chutintorn Gongsakdi said that we need to identify the opportunities available for us to do business in India. He emphasised upon connecting the connectivities, including air, land and sea connectivity. He further said that digital technology is an enabler of member economies and quoted example of e-commerce regarding it. He added that we should aim at people-centred and inclusive economies with focus on environmental, social and corporate governance.
More than 60 delegates from 10 ASEAN countries and more than 200 delegates from India are participating in the summit.