GUWAHATI, Dec 6 � �The ASEAN-India Car Rally symbolizes connectivity between ASEAN and India, not merely physical, but also spiritual, cultural and emotional,� Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said this at the welcome ceremony for the ASEAN-India Car Rally at the Reunification Palace at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam today.
Speaking on the�occasion, Gogoi said, �as the Chief Minister of Assam, the largest State in North-Eastern India, a region which shares a land border with ASEAN, I am here to show our strong desire to strengthen connectivity and cooperation. Improved connectivity over land, at sea and by air will boost trade and investment flows, tourism and people-to-people contacts.�
Gogoi expressed the hope that the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 would open up the North-East to South East Asia for people-to-people contact. �It will also enhance trade and commerce prospects of Assam. The North East has a strong historical and sub-regional
affinity towards the ASEAN nations, and the car rally will enrich the concept and implementation of New Delhi�s Look East Policy with �people-to-people contact, investment, tourism, trade and commerce,� he said.
Gogoi hoped that direct air links between India and Vietnam in the near future would lead to enhanced trade and commerce.
Expressing his�gratitude to the leadership of Vietnam and to the Peoples� Committee of Ho Chi Minh City for extending their wholehearted and generous support towards organizing the rally, Gogoi said that ASEAN had emerged as the pivot of India�s �Look East Policy�, which has paid rich dividends to both sides.
Gogoi also saluted the teams from all ASEAN countries for undertaking the arduous, but adventurous journey overland to India. �The participants have played a pivotal role in strengthening our connectivity at the people-to-people, institution and geographic levels,� he said, adding, �We are eagerly looking forward to welcoming you all in Guwahati, the capital of Assam, on December 16-17, and then in New Delhi on December 20, 2012,� he said.