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Look South Policy: Conrad says connectivity through Bangladesh would be a second economic corridor for the entire Northeast

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Shillong, Nov 21: Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, on Monday inaugurated the International Inter-Disciplinary Seminar on ‘Look South Policy vis-a-vis Meghalaya’, at Synod College, Shillong.

In his inaugural address, the Chief Minister, said the Look South policy is important for Meghalaya and the country and added that if Act East policy has to be really put in letter and spirit then it cannot be an Act East generic policy.

“It has to be within the Northeast a very regional based Act East policy,” he said.

He added that every state in the Northeast has a relative act direction policy. “There are basically three zones for economic activity in the north East which have their own challenges and requirements and opportunities,” he said.

The Chief Minister also said that there is a need to have sister state relationships. “There is so much we can learn from other states and when we share the best practices and resources with each other the entire structure of the country will be strong” he added. He also mooted for a Presidential Retreat in the North East. “Having a Presidential Retreat in the North East would really send a very strong message of national integration,” he said.

He also said that North East and West Bengal are just separated from each other by 80 kilometers through Bangladesh and if there is connectivity through Bangladesh it would be a second economic corridor for the entire Northeast cutting down distance and travel time.

“The entire Northeast and the southern part of Northeast will all be connected to this route. This will be the economic gateway for the Northeast in the long run and this is a huge game changer for us,” he stressed.

He further added that such seminars are very important to build up the perception, leadership and trust to move forward. “Building up the ecosystem with the right and positive mindset while we look at the challenges and problems, we also look at the opportunities is the way forward,” he said.

The Chief Minister also informed that the government is examining proposals to put up conveyor belts. “We strongly feel that this conveyor belt system will allow us to ensure that the products and the minerals that we send to Bangladesh are going to be properly monitored and we will be able to get the revenues out of it in a much more efficient manner,” he said.

He further said that there is a huge scope in agriculture by developing a good value chain system and creating an economic interdependence. He also added that there needs to be exchange programs between students and entrepreneurs of Bangladesh and India. “It is very important to take entrepreneurs on board as they are the ones who will make things happen,” he said.

It may be mentioned here that the seminar will explore a change in the monetary expansion not only through trade but in other aspects also through deliberations from resource persons, people working at the grass roots levels, and paper presenters. The seminar will also examine the impediments and bottlenecks so that trade relations and people to people relations can be improved between the two nations.

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