Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday said his government was keen on starting flight operations between Guwahati and the capital cities of the ASEAN nations, besides utilising road links from Assam to the neighbouring countries.
“We are keen to start flights between Guwahati and the ASEAN capitals. The construction of a new terminal building at the LGBI Airport in Guwahati is going to start soon. There is a motorable road link – the ASEAN trilateral highway – connecting India’s North-east and ASEAN,” Sonowal said at a Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event held in Singapore on Sunday.
Reiterating the Centre’s resolve in playing a proactive role towards the success of PM Modi’s ‘Act East’ Policy, Sonowal said his government was determined to step up efforts in increasing interactions with the ASEAN countries, including enhancing people-to-people contact and trade and other relations.
“Assam and other Northeastern states are close to ASEAN nations. We have land borders with Myanmar. Most ASEAN capitals are within a 2,000 km flying distance from Guwahati that is comparable to flying distance of Guwahati to many Indian cities. We are keen to start flights between Guwahati and ASEAN capitals,” Sonowal was quoted in an official press release issued here.
Pointing at Assam’s natural resources, the CM said the state ranked third among the raw silk producing states in India. Over 80 per cent muga silk and over 60 per cent of eri silk produced in India comes from Assam, he said. “The North-eastern region has the highest concentration of bamboo resources in the country. Assam tea is famous throughout the world. Assam has around 850 tea gardens and 1,30,000 small tea growers. While India’s petroleum industry was born in Assam, the state today has four refineries, apart from significant petroleum and natural gas reserves,” he said.
Focusing on the state’s tourism, Sonowal said that while Assam had five National Parks and 18 wildlife sanctuaries, about 20 golf courses and heritage clubs embedded in the scenic tea gardens provided a huge impetus to tea tourism.
Sonowal also took part in a roadshow – “Advantage Assam: Global Investors’ Summit” – in Singapore on Sunday to reach out to industrialists and investors across the globe. In a move to woo investors, he also presented the business landscape of the state, particularly focusing on measures like ‘ease of doing business’, the single-window clearance system, skilled workforce and state’s verdant natural resources before a galaxy of business leaders. The proposed Global Investors’ Summit in Guwahati is slated for February 3 and 4.