GUWAHATI, Dec 16 � The ASEAN-India Car Rally today reached Guwahati around 4 pm with cheering crowds from both sides of the road waving and greeting the participants.
The rally comprising 31 cars went to the Sarusajai Stadium passing through Khanapara, Dispur, Ganeshguri, Last Gate, Beltola Tiniali and Basistha Chariali, where they were accorded a grand welcome. The Sarusajai Stadium is set to host the flag-down ceremony of the rally tomorrow.
The stadium which has been decked up for the event witnessed the final rehearsals of various cultural and other shows this afternoon.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Sports Minister Ajit Singh were among those who accorded a warm welcome to the rally participants. They also attended the full dress rehearsal at the stadium on the eve of tomorrow�s flag-down ceremony.
The ASEAN-India Car Rally � the first international car rally that has featured in the State since 2004 � had started at Yogyacarta in Indonesia on November 25 and has since traversed nine nations. It entered India through Moreh, the border point in Manipur, yesterday.
The programme for the flag-down ceremony includes para-dropping, a show by Assam Police �daredevils� and woman commandos, Army Pipe band, presentation of the Assam Medley and various ethnic dance forms, a performance by the Shillong Chamber of Choir, western music, among others.
The flag-down ceremony, which will be followed by the ASEAN-India Trade Conclave with special focus on the North-east, is expected go a long way in promoting the North-east�s participation in bilateral economic, tourism, cultural and people-to-people activities between India and its South East Asian neighbours.
The trade conclave is being organized by the Industries and Commerce Department, Assam in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). It will host deliberations on prospects of bilateral trade and commerce between the North-east and South East Asia.
A host of dignitaries including ministers and trade representatives from South East Asia are taking part in the event, which would coincide with the flag-down ceremony of the ASEAN-India Car Rally.
Dr Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister & Minister of Commerce, Cambodia; Dr Nam Viyaketh, Minister Commerce, Laos, PDR; Pawan Singh Ghatowar, Union DoNER Minister; Dr Purandeswari, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry; Rani Narah, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs; and Industry Ministers of north-eastern States along with representatives from all sectors would be present at the conclave.
The conclave would be chaired by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
The focus of this conclave would be to demonstrate proximity of India with ASEAN countries, create public awareness of India-ASEAN relations, promote connectivity, especially road transport, and enhance trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people contact between India and the ASEAN countries.
The main themes for the conclave are business, development, culture and tourism.
It would be followed by an interactive open house panel discussion to forge for a way for promotion of trade, industry and commerce of the North-east in view of its geographical proximity with South-East Asia and East Asia. Along with the South-East Asian countries, top business houses of the country will also participate in the discussion.