New Delhi: In a first of its kind, an interaction between Resident Commissioners of North-Eastern Region and Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, was held in Delhi on Friday, September 10. The deliberations dwelt at length on how the Ministry of External Affairs can facilitate their international engagement.
"This is especially significant in the context of realising the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi articulated during his address to the Nation on August 6, 2021, MEA release said.
The meeting was attended by Residential Commissioners and Nodal Officers from eight North-Eastern States – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura Nagaland and Sikkim.
In his welcome remarks, C. Rajasekhar, OSD (States), reiterated MEA's focus on the North-Eastern Region, as it is key to the nation's security and prosperity. He recalled the Prime Minister's exhortation of the States to prepare an action plan to boost exports in their respective states.
MoS External Affairs, Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, in his address, urged the states in the North-East region to proactively harness the goodwill for India around the world in promoting export and attracting foreign investment into the region. The government has set a target of 400 Billion dollars export per annum.
Secretary (Eastern Region) in MEA, Dammu Ravi, summed up the productive deliberations and guided the meeting on the next steps. A North East Round Table is to be launched for the first time in Manipur capital later this year.
The release said that senior officers from the Government of India and the MEA also enriched the session with their insightful contributions.
The States Division in MEA has been created specially at the behest and directives of the Prime Minister to facilitate the international outreach efforts of all States and Union Territories. Recently, Naga Mirchi (chilli) were exported to London. Similarly, all north-eastern states have their unique and specialised potentials. While states such as Tripura have immense scope for trading with bamboo products, Sikkim is the country's organic state.
Sources said the government of India's Act East Policy focuses on the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region. The policy, originally conceived as an economic initiative, has gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions, including establishing institutional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation. India has upgraded its relations to a strategic partnership with Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Singapore and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN).