Bangkok: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, speaking at the inaugural programme of the 2nd Edition of North East India Festival, Bangkok on 30th June 2022 at Central World Complex, Bangkok stated that the second edition of the North East India Festival 2022 is being celebrated at Bangkok to mark India’s 75 years of independence and diplomatic relationship with Thailand. He hoped that it will help in further connecting the two regions with age old social and cultural relations, shared history and ethnicity.
Rio said that by educating people on the similarities of the people of northeast region of India and the people of Thailand and other South East Asian countries, it can help unify and help form close economic collaboration between Northeast India and Southeast Asian nations. He said that festival will give a further thrust to the Act East Policy of the Government of India and Act West Policy of Thailand and other South East Asian countries.
The Chief Minister highlighted on the geographical features and cultures of Nagaland. He also shed a light on the famous Hornbill Festival. He stated that the State hosted eight Ambassadors of the ASEAN countries during the Hornbill Festival in 2021 and is looking forward to welcoming a Thailand delegation of the tourism industry this year.
Rio said Nagaland is there to build a robust platform for bilateral trade. He said Nagaland is blessed with various fruits, vegetables, organic products, floriculture, herbal, medicinal plants, etc. he also said that products from Handicrafts and Handloom sector, are popular and in high demand. He added that there is sizable quantity of untapped Mineral resources in Nagaland. He also underlined on the potential of bamboo and honey in the State.
He said India is investing extensively towards building infrastructure to connect its North Eastern Region with the ASEAN countries as part of its ACT EAST Policy. India – Myanmar – Thailand Trilateral Highway promises to transform the region economic landscape through trade with the ASEAN and the development of Kaladan Multi Model Transit Transport and building of an Integrated Port and Inland Water Transport Terminal in Sittwe being under taken in consonant with the Act East Policy of the Government of India provides further impetus to the trade and investment of the NE region with the ASEAN countries, he added.
Rio stated that the trilateral Asian highway passes through Nagaland and that the State is ready with requisite infrastructure and allied facilities for bilateral trade with Thailand and ASEAN countries. He said that state has youth of Nagaland have skills not only in traditional arts and crafts such as basketry, pottery, spinning, weaving, carving and dyeing metal work, but also in art, music, modern nursing, computer technology, programming and designing. The Chief Minister said that the State aims to become a preferred investment destination for anyone planning to cater to ASEAN market, large Industrial Parks with plug and play facilities for investors to explore are part of our economic infrastructure strategies and that the Government of Nagaland will be very proactive to provide one stop clearances and support for investors.
Rio informed that in the fourth week of August 2022, Nagaland is organising a major national level Investment Summit in partnership with the Government of India under the leadership of our Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
He stated that the State’s biggest strength is creativity of its people and that Nagas are emerging in the creative fields in India – starting from music, fashion, hospitality and service industry. He said that the State has a dedicated Department under the banner of Task Force for Music and Arts, (TaFMA) engaged in creating an eco-system for music and the arts.
The Chief Minister said that the Government wants to engage with Thailand on a continuous basis and that he was there with an objective to strengthen ties, build partnerships and create trust. He said that the State Government wants to initiate a Naga Emporium in Bangkok which will also be a facilitation centre to undertake investments in Nagaland including creation of avenues to visit Nagaland as a tourist destination.
Rio said that the State will be happy to offer all kinds of support in promoting Thai products in Nagaland and is looking forward to welcoming Thai investments, Thai products and the people of Thailand to Nagaland. He extended his appreciation to the Indian Embassy for hosting the occasion and the efforts being put up by North East India Festival team led by Shyamkanu Mahanta and the Chief Adviser of the Festival, Abu Metha and the whole team.