Thai Minister confident of business partnership with NE

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Gangtok, Jan 11 (UNI) Mr Piyabutr Cholvijam, Deputy Industry Minister, Thailand, today said business and cultural partnership between his country and the Northeast states of India including Sikkim will definitely materialise soon.

" You all want to start partnership between the two countries and we also want this partnership and I feel it will happen, it will happen in Northeast region soon, " said Mr Cholvijam to a gathering of Sikkim government officials and the local business community during his address here.

The Thai Minister arrived in Gangtok today with a delegation of Thai officials and businessmen. This was the last leg of the Thai team's tour in NE after visiting Guwahati, Tawang and Itanagar.

Lavishing praise on the natural beauty and eco-tourism drive of the Sikkim government, Mr Cholvijam said he would be brining Thai tourism operators in Sikkim in near future.

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling offered the state government's willingness to enter into Memorandum of Understandings with Thailand in different thrust areas like tourism, hospitality services, floriculture and Buddhist Circuit pilgrimage tourism.

The Chief Minister sought Thailand's support in developing a sub -level regional cooperation body that would bring Sikkim, Thailand, Myanmar and other border states in one forum for better investment and cooperation.

Mr Chamling said Sikkim's hydro-electricity potential was 8000 MW and informed that the state government had engaged independent developers to develop a major share of this potential. He invited investment and cooperation between Sikkim and Thailand in harnessing hydro power.

The Chief Minister said doors were open for investment in hospitality business like golf courses and amusement parks. He also attracted the attention of the Thai delegates towards Sikkim being on the few states giving licenses for casino in the state.

Mr Rajiv Singh, Secretary, Indian Chamber of Commerce, said the body was committed to assisting and strengthening the relationship between Thailand and Northeastern states of India stronger.

UNI BG SJC RN1831

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