Northeast India: Unveiling new opportunities for global partnerships
The two-day international event, the “2020 Northeast India International Economic Forum” organised by the Caucasus-Asia Center under its newly launched initiative- Global Coalition for Frontier Markets (GCFM) concluded on December 20.
The virtual event brought together a host of senior dignitaries and young professionals from different sectors and areas, such as government, think tank, private sector and academia.
During the two-day event, development of the Northeast region vis-à-vis economic growth was discussed at length with many business players expressing their eagerness and curiosity to enter the region and work towards enhancing its socio-economic development.
This event was a pioneering event to draw the attention of the global economic community about the opportunities in this resource-rich northeastern region of India, and the geographic advantage that it stands to offer towards becoming a ‘land bridge’ between South Asia and adjoining countries in Southeast Asia.
Speakers like CEO of Adani Group (Myanmar) and president of India-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce, Sunil Seth emphasized on the importance of Myanmar as an emerging and promising destination for Indian businesses and investors.
He also pointed to the fact that the northeast holds the potential to become a confluence ground for business coming in from the Indian and Myanmar side.
Similarly, the Director of IIT Guwahati, Prof. T.G, Sitharam expounded the activities and role played by his premier institute in developing close links with countries in the region and even beyond, like with Japan.
Eminent economist and Director of Dhaka School of Economics in Bangladesh, Prof. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad agreed that there is a now a pressing need for India and its northeast region to scale up ties with Bangladesh, which has been witnessing a remarkable GDP growth in the recent years and even doing good this year when most countries worldwide are struggling with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other speakers include -- President of Balkan Economic Forum, Prof. Sasho Kjosev; former Indian ambassador to Myanmar, Syria and Afghanistan, Gautam Mukhopadhaya; an entrepreneur and investment professional based in Shanghai and hailing from Nagaland, Augustine Reading; BJP national spokesperson and Nagaland legislator, Mmhonlumo Kikon, Researcher with Jawaharlal Nehru University, Shrabana Baruah; Coordinator at the Centre for North-East India, Dr Otojit Kshetrimayum; Secretary at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Md. Joynal Abdin; US-based investment professional working on major projects in countries in South Asia, Keith Hilden besides others.
Based on the discussion and suggestions offered during the two-day event, Caucasus-Asia Center intends to pursue on several suggestions in 2021 which include organizing a summer school in the northeast on a topic of sustainability/ clean energies bringing in young entrepreneurs and researchers from Bangladesh and Myanmar, building certain institutional level partnership with Dhaka School of Economics on starting an entrepreneurship course targeting young people from both India and Bangladesh, increasing business ties with Myanmar and facilitating a multi-stakeholder, also including local parliamentarians from the northeast region.
The Caucasus-Asia Center is a non-profit organisation registered in New Delhi. It focuses area of activities are the countries in the Caucasus, and it attempts to connect these countries with people and businesses in Asia.