Guwahati, 28 May: The river routes via the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Mekong have always played a pivotal role in building an economic rationale for the South East Asian region to grow apart from other socio-cultural influences and hence these are important for efficient implementation of the Act East Policy.
Stating this, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal today advocated for an ecologically responsible economic growth in the South East Asian region. The Minister was speaking at the Special Plenary session in the 3rd edition of Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) dialogue organised by Asian Confluence here today.
The Union Minister highlighted the time tested and historical ties that the Northeast India has built with the South east Asian countries along with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
He said, “Our shared history and familiar conditions has created a common ground to build a peaceful & sustainable future. The Indian government is deeply committed to work towards its ambitious Act East Policy to advance our shared values and legacy for the benefit of humanity, peace, stability and prosperity.”
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma with foreign delegates at the inauguration of 3rd NADI – Asian Confluence River conclave 2022 on Saturday.
“We have an opportunity here to become partners as the Indian Ocean becomes the centre of the emerging ‘Age of Asia’. This new awakening is a recognition of our interlinked destinies, interdependence for a cleaner environment and in our belief of shared opportunities. We, who live in and around our Indian Ocean, must own and bear primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” he added.
He highlighted how Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBRP) has been instrumental in transporting heavy cargo and also benefitted neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan to access the Indian Ocean.
Speaking on the premise of economic growth riding on ecological balance, Sarbananda Sonowal emphasised on ‘Blue Economy’ concept and said, “A related aspect is the emergence of the ‘Blue Economy’ as a promising new pillar of prosperity in the region, with immense economic and employment potential."
“India is seeking a more cooperative and integrated future for the region through development of the ocean-based blue economy. A distinct feature of the Blue Economy lies in harnessing of marine resources for economic and social development and environmental sustainability without undermining the conservation and restocking aspects of these finite natural resources,” he said.
The session was attended by high commissioners/ ambassadors. Consul general various Asian countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.