NE CMs to focus on trade ties with Southeast Asia

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Agartala, May 12 (UNI) Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has asserted that Chief Ministers of the Northeastern states would focus on trade and communication ties with the rest of Southeast Asia in the 56th Plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC).

Talking to UNI, Mr Zoramthanga said the meeting would emphasise on the budget deficiency of the NEC in the current fiscal and it would demand for increment of the fund allocation to the council and improvement of the communication network.

Referring to the NEC conclave held last in New Delhi, Mr Zoramthanga said, ''Me and my Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura counterparts had highlighted the issues related to trade development with neghibouring Myanmar, China and Bangladesh and I would remind it in this session too.'' Besides general issues of NE states, it would discuss the Look East Policy as well as the development of the region laid out in the Vision 2020 to improve the relations with Southeast Asian countries and the potential for developing them further.

Mr Zoramthanga also stated that the council would emphasise on surface transport, air and rail connectivity of the region with the rest of the country as well as with Southeast Asia and potential trade ties the region could build with the rest of the subcontinent.

He pointed out that he would seek the attention of DoNER Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar for improvement of Mizoram's airport and expansion of railway network in the state.

He also informed that the DoNER Ministry had called upon the states of the region to draw up annual and perspective plans for tourism-related issues and in consultation with the Union Ministry of Tourism, the NEC and the DoNER would be able to draw up plans for the entire region.

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