Guwahati: External Affairs Minister Dr Subramaniam Jaishankar in the presence of Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, inaugurated the Asian Confluence River Conclave 2022 (Nadi 3) at a function held in Guwahati on Saturday.
Organised by Asian Confluence in association with External Affairs Ministry, Government of India and Act East Policy Affairs Department, the two day conclave has been organised to set an agenda for a collective vision of sub-regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Region and in Southeast Asia.
Speaking at the Conclave External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar said that diplomacy is about bridging positions and bridging society through projects, connectivity, and communication. India that is more connected with the Northeast and the Northeast that is more connected with the neighbouring countries will completely transform the regional economy.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Dr. Sarma expressed his happiness to have attended Nadi 3 and hosted the Conclave in Guwahati on the bank of the mighty Brahmaputra, which he believed would act as natural allies in development and interdependence. He said, “NADI 3 Conclave gives us a remarkable opportunity for a collective vision of our shared prosperity. I am sure the deliberations at this Conclave will promote coordination for revitalising our riverine connectivity to facilitate faster economic growth in the region”.
The Chief Minister also said that India has always shared ancient civilisational linkages with the countries belonging to East and Southeast Asia. These links have passed through Assam and Northeast. He also said that the ties between Northeast and ASEAN blocs are historical, cultural, social and economic. Taking this into consideration, Assam and Northeast can be used as a launchpad for intensifying mutual cooperation. He also underscored some vital areas of Assam’s economy where collaboration can be done for shared growth and prosperity.
He also said that under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the waterways sector of Assam finds a new impetus. To harness the potential of a vast network of the rivers, the Governments of India and Bangladesh have signed the Port Use Agreement and Use of Cross Border Inland Waterways and access of the Chattogram and Mongla Ports to the North East of India. Recognising the significance of rivers for connectivity and prosperity of the North-Eastern Region, the Govt. of India declared 20 rivers as National Waterways in the North East and 15 of these 20 National Waterways are in the state of Assam. Therefore, the Chief Minister, said that Nadi 3 holds immense importance for Assam for revitalising the riverine connectivity to facilitate faster economic growth in the region. He also thanked External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar for having come to Assam to inaugurate Nadi 3. His presence in the inaugural programmes showed the government’s commitment towards collaborative approach for regional development.
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Our shared history and familiar conditions has created a common ground to build a peaceful & sustainable future. The Indian government is deeply committed to working towards its ambitious Act East Policy, as envisaged by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji, to advance our shared values & legacy for humanity, peace, stability & prosperity. With evolving global realities, the engines of economic growth are moving towards. We have an opportunity here to become partners as the Indian Ocean becomes the centre of the emerging ‘Age of Asia’.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Abdul Momen, High Commissioner of Singapore to India Simon Wong Wie Kuen, Ambassador of Cambodia to India Ung Sean, also spoke. A host of delegates from ASEAN countries and other stakeholders were present on the occasion.