Look East Policy to 'reconnect' NE with international trade

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Guwahati, Oct 9 (UNI) Minister for Development of North East Region (DoNER) Mani Shankar Aiyer today stressed the need to expose northeast to the world to accelerate economic growth of the region.

Participating in the valedictory session of the three-day conference on 'India's Look East Policy'- Challenges for Sub-Regional Cooperation', Mr Aiyer said the Policy would put thrust on development of infrastructure in the region as it would ensure economic growth.

He stated that the NE states, including Sikkim, had the second highest per capita income at the time of Independence, but the per capita income has gone down drastically during the last 60 years.

The DoNER minister identified communication bottleneck as an important reason for this phenomenon.

He said, ''NE can be reached only through a chicken neck-like area. This has kept the region cut off from other parts.'' Another reason for NE lagging behind, according to Mr Aiyer, was the almost complete trade halt with its neighbouring countries.

Organized jointly by the ministry of External Affairs, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, Delhi, and Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati, the conference was inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherji on Sunday.

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