Guwahati, May 28: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar today said here that India looks forward to have proper surface connectivity through Myanmar and sea connectivity through Bangladesh to ASEAN neighbours and that would bring about a sea change in the economy of the region.
Addressing the 3rd edition of Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) dialogue organised by Asian Confluence here, the External Minister said that six old cross- border rail routes between India and Bangladesh needed be restored for mutual benefits.
"There are 10 waterway protocol routes between India and Bangladesh. Nine new "Border Haats" (markets) between India and Bangladesh are being set up," Dr Jaishankar said adding connectivity is being improved with Nepal and Bhutan.
"The upcoming connectivity not only would build the strong partnership with the ASEAN countries and Japan, but would actually make a difference to the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. It is absolutely within our capability to overcome geographic bottleneck and rewrite history."
Dr Jaishankar said that this vision could be productively realised by enhancing connectivity with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to improve access to ASEAN countries and beyond.
Taking to Twitter, the Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma who attended the inaugural session of NADI conclave said, "Due to its strategic location, Assam provides a great opportunity for economic growth. The state has immense potential in tourism sector, including wildlife tourism, tea tourism and river tourism. Our government is taking necessary steps in this direction.”
"Northeast India, including Assam, not only provides the only land link between India and ASEAN region, but also acts as a cultural and civilisational bridge,” Dr Sarma said in another tweet.