In sync with the Centre’s Act East Policy, Guwahati, the largest city in northeastern India, will be developed as the gateway to southeast Asia, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said here on Saturday. “Guwahati has always been seen as the gateway to the northeast,” Sonowal said while inaugurating the Northeast Students and Youth Summit 2017. “But now, through the Act East Policy, we have envisaged making Guwahati the hub of southeast Asian connectivity,” he stated. He said that his government has prioritised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making the northeast the new engine of India’s growth by attracting investments and developing infrastructure. “Astalakshmi of northeast today stands at the cusp of massive transformations. This is led by the youth, realising the true potential of our region,” Sonowal said.
Stating that the northeast is known for rich water bodies, biodiversity and beautiful scenery, he said: “We have everything but now we have to work hard.” He said that Modi has sought a comprehensive action plan to solve the perennial problems of floods and has announced Rs. 100 crore for this. “If this is done, the rural economy will improve,” the Assam Chief Minister said. He said that the central government wanted the northeastern region to capture the southeast Asian market. “Prime Minister Modi wants the northeast to be the most developed region and we have to prepare ourselves for this,” Sonowal said. “The Prime Minister has given us a good opportunity to take forward cooperative federalism.”