NEW DELHI: Connectivity with neighbouring countries would enhance economic development of the north-east, said foreign secretary Harsh Shringla on Saturday, speaking at the Sikkim University.
“Improved infrastructure and connectivity with our neighbours will directly contribute to the economic development of the north-east. It will generate investment, trade and jobs,” he said. The development of the north-east is seen to be directly connected with India’s foreign policy, particularly the Act East policy of the government.
The north-east, he said, “connects us to one of the most economically dynamic and politically significant geographies of the world – ASEAN and Indo-Pacific.”
The MEA, Shringla said, would link Sikkim and north-eastern universities with international institutions. They would launch the Kanchenjunga Dialogue, a Track 2 dialogue, to improve the standing of states in the region including Sikkim as an “education and knowledge hub”.
Shringla said that under the India-Japan Act East Forum, the two countries were working to enhance the overall development of the north-east “by way of projects on connectivity, water, sanitation, forest management and skill development.”
Pointing to the Sikkim Biodiversity and Conservation Management Project, the foreign secretary said, opportunity beckoned for people in the region, “in hospitality and tourism sector or entrepreneurship in export of organic food, floriculture and horticulture.”
Flagging the newly recrafted internship program in the foreign ministry, Shringla promised to tap more talent from the north-east.