GUWAHATI, Dec 9 - Guwahati, the gateway to India�s North East, will soon become a major airline hub with support from countries like Thailand, Bangladesh and Bhutan, informed senior diplomats and officials from these countries while participating in an international seminar on global connectivity in Guwahati on Friday.
The international seminar �Global connectivity and Economic Growth with special focus on Assam� was jointly organised by Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam (ITFAA) and Delhi Alumni Association of Assam (DAAA) at the ongoing India Show at Veterinary playground, Khanapara. The India Show will continue till December 14.
Panuwat Jantharajit, a senior diplomat from Thailand who participated in the seminar, informed that very soon Thai Smile Airways will start operation between Guwahati and Bangkok.
Regional manager (India) at Druk Airways, Lokesh Thakral also hinted at starting flights between Guwahati and Singapore. �We are in serious discussion about introducing new connection with Guwahati. Moreover, Druk Air is also creating awareness among prospective flyers in different towns of Assam about using its international flights for trade and business purposes along with leisure,� he said.
Author and social commentator Mayur Bora laid stress more on socio-cultural connectivity between people from different regions. �Most of the time social and cultural connectivity removes the hurdles experienced while initiating formal connectivity between two foreign countries by respective governments,� he said.
Agriculture Minister Atul Bora while taking part in the discussion, reaffirmed the strong intention of the Government of Assam to extend support to all stakeholders in their initiative to connect Assam with rest of the world.
While reacting to Dr Amiya Kumar Sarma�s statement about Assam�s negative image in the world circuit, Minister Bora said the present coalition government in the State is keeping no stone unturned to make Assam investor-friendly.
Dr Sarma, who is the Executive Director of RGVN and also president of the prestigious Delhi Alumni Association of Assam (DAAA), laid stress on strengthening domestic connectivity for the economic development of Assam.
Kazi Muntashir Murshed, Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh disclosed during the seminar that very soon flight connectivity between Guwahati and Dhaka would begin. �It will be difficult to announce the name of the carrier, but it will be either an airline from India or from Bangladesh,� he said. He also added that with the opening of Bangladesh Assistant High Commission office in Guwahati the issue of Visa has also become very easy and prompt for the prospective travellers to Bangladesh.
The civil aviation industry of India is witnessing phenomenal growth over the last decade. It is currently the 9th largest civil aviation market with 85 international airlines connecting over 40 countries.
However, Guwahati which is being promoted as the gateway to South East Asia, has very poor air connectivity with its neighbouring countries.