SHILLONG: 25 years and counting, the Look East Policy turned Act East Policy is still far from reality as not much has been achieved so far, said Member of the North Eastern Council CK Das even as he observed that a clear policy framework is needed to achieve the set target.
“Though debates, discussions and meeting were held from time to time on the Look East Policy turned Act East Policy, yet not much has been achieved in as far as boosting the economic growth of the region and the country as a whole,” said Das at the 3rd Act East Business Show-2016 held at Shillong here on Friday.
“It appears that the Look East Policy was born out of a strategic perspective after the fall of USSR but the goal is mistaken as whether the policy is an economic necessity or a diplomatic necessity,” Das said adding that a clear policy framework needs to be out into place to achieve the target.
Stressing on the need to have a proper connectivity network in the region, the NEC member observed that if the region is well connected, other developmental activities will follow suit thereby speeding up the road towards achieving the goal of the Act East Policy.
Meanwhile, addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma called for the need of a collective and committed engagement of all stakeholders to ensure the economic growth of the region.
Terming international borders are as ‘Prosperity borders’, Sangma said that all the NE states needs to revisit the approach by considering the geo-political perspective to enhance and promote the bilateral relation between India and the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and others.
Stating that NE is a gateway to other Asian countries, the chief minister said that much needs to be done to tap the investment opportunities stating that bringing down the risk factors involved with investment supported by structural reforms is the ‘mantra’.
Highlighting the importance of a multi-mode transport system, Sangma said that multi mode connectivity is required to be tapped in a comprehensive manner to ease the transportation of goods and services across the borders.
Hoping to see all the barriers being brought down in the next five years, Sangma said that with the recent intervention and initiatives of the NE state governments backed by the Union government, transportation sectors like roads, railways, airways and waterways will be developed adding that Meghalaya will benefit enormously as it shares 5 river waterways.
Meanwhile, eager to invest in the natural resources of Meghalaya, the President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abdul Matlub Ahmad said that Bangladesh is looking forward to invest heavily in the power and mining sector in Meghalaya.
He further expressed his keenness to invest in the food processing sector, Hospitality sector, agro based industry in Meghalaya.
Others representatives of different countries too showed keen interest to invest like Thailand.