The United States is interested to participate in the economic development of the Northeastern region of India particularly Manipur which is considered as the gate to Southeast Asia, said Robert Garverick, minister counsellor for Economic Environment, Science & Technology Affairs US embassy.
Robert Garverick alongwith Geoffrey Wessel, trade and connectivity officer of the US embassy and specialist US Consulate Kolkata, Sourabh Sen, arrived in the state on Saturday.
The officials of the US embassy also visited Moreh town bordering Myanmar and inspected various infrastructure development taking place at the border town including the Integrated Check Post, Indo-Myanmar border among others. The officials of the embassy also interacted with the local administrators, NGOs, entrepreneurs of the border town.
“From the US embassy in New Delhi, we have been working very closely with the Government of India on a whole variety of development programme ranging from trade to information technology. But apart from the bilateral relationship we also focus on regional development and looking forward to working with India to expand our cross-border trade and its neighbour particularly in the light of the Prime Minister of India’s Act East policy and participating in economic development in this region has become a vital as Manipur is considered the gate to South East Asia”, said Garverick.
Gaverick said that their (US) first priority is to support the infrastructure development which is key to economic growth for both sides of the borders which would attract eventually attract more investors. Giving his assessment of today’s Moreh visit, he observed that there are lots to be done to improve the infrastructure of the border town.
“India’s economic growth over the last few years has been very impressive and very strong with an 8 per cent growth rate. There are lots of interest from investors and traders from the US to expand their market and operation here”, he said.
Responding to the queries on China’s economic activities in the region, he said although China has emerged as a very powerful economic player and its presence is felt over the world including the northeastern region but their presence is not the issues. Nevertheless, the idea is that the United State is also present here and other countries are interested in investing in India and it would benefit India to have the cross-border trade and the linked to Southeast Asia over the land or maritime, he said.
RK Shivchandra, the convener of Act East Policy Committee, has said that a substantial change has been taking place since Myanmar opened up its land border point and that many investors are showing their interest to invest in Manipur. He appealed to the people of the State to stop causing frequent disturbances in the forms of bandhs and strike.