GUWAHATI, July 16 - As part of a familiarisation visit, 20 journalists from ASEAN countries under the aegis of the India-ASEAN Media Exchange Programme called on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today. The programme is being coordinated by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Sonowal called upon the journalists to work with a common vision to renew the age-old ties between Assam and ASEAN. He also urged them to push forward the Assam government�s initiatives in their respective nations for improved connectivity, especially air connectivity between Guwahati and the capital cities of ASEAN countries and setting up consulates of ASEAN nations here.
�We are next-door neighbours. We have a common history, which started with Chaolung Sukapha�s arrival in Assam from Yunnan. Our government wants to strengthen this relationship and give it a new dimension through regular exchange of dialogue for better connectivity and trade and commerce,� Sonowal said.
He said the visiting journalists could play a significant role in taking forward the Assam government�s endeavours by way of their writings and media reports. He also emphasised on youth and cultural exchange programmes.
Sonowal said that the Act East Policy enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a major thrust to India�s dialogue with the ASEAN members, with Assam as the nerve centre.
He further said that India and the ASEAN could meaningfully gain from the relationship cemented by the Act East Policy considering the rich repository of natural and human resources in India's east. �We must work together to grow together,� Sonowal said.
He also informed the journalists about programmes like Digital India, Start-up India, Skill India and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, etc.. Sonowal also informed them about the breakthroughs being made in terms of air, road and water connectivity to boost India�s relations with the ASEAN nations.