NE-Thailand connect emphasized at Bangkok fest

Guwahati, Feb 11: The historical connect between North Eastern India and Thailand, and the initiatives being taken to re-connect these two parts for greater people-to-people communication and trade potentials, were highlighted at a three-day North East India Festival at Bangkok, which concluded yesterday. 

The Festival enabled the people of Thailand to explore the historical connect with NE region as well as the thrust on greater connectivity at present, Shyamkanu Mahanta, organizer of the Festival said. 

The geographical proximity between the region and how the road and air connectivity is bringing new hope in trade and tourism were highlighted, he added. 

The inaugural session on February eight was attended by Commerce Minister of Thailand Chutima Bunapraphasara, Ambassadors of ASEAN countries and leading industrialists of Thailand. 

Bunapraphasara hailed the initiative to connect both the regions and said a team will travel to North East to explore trade and investment potential in next six month. 

Suchitra Dural, India’s Ambassador to Thailand, in her inaugural address, highlighted the thrust on connectivity and said from March onwards, Guwahati-Bangkok regular flights will start operation. 

Union Commerce and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, in his recorded speech, spoke about India’s commitment and support for Act East Policy and highlighted that regular flight and special trade concession will be offered. 

He added that sea planes in the river system of the NE region will start soon. 

A B2B Meet on Tourism on the second day of the fest was attended by 115 prominent tour operators of Thailand, who interacted with Tourism departments of North East and leading tour operators of the region. 

An interaction session explored potential for future business engagement between the tourism stakeholders of both the regions. 

A trade meet organized on the occasion was attended by MSME entrepreneurs of Thailand, interacting with North East traders and tour operators. 

A people-to-people exchange programme was organized in association with Guwahati University on the concluding day, which was attended by India’s Ambassador to Thailand Ms Dural, Vice-Chancellor Gauhati University Mridul Hazarika, Prominent Tai Ahom Leader Lakhya Konwar, Prof NG Mahanta and prominent scholars of Tai Ahom, Tai Phake and Tai Khamiyang communities of North East and very well known scholars of Thailand. 

The people exchange programme deliberated on shared history of the region and future programme for carrying forward this relationship. 

Cultural shows of NE tribes and cuisine were also part of the Festival. (UNI)