IMPHAL, April 7 - The first-ever two-day North East-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Summit was inaugurated here at the newly-opened City Convention Centre on Thursday. The Summit which was organised by Manipur Department of Commerce and Industries in association with ICC, an apex business organisation and ICSI, an apex professional organisation.
Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the Summit while Manipur Speaker Th Lokeshwar Singh presided over the function. State Commerce and Industries Minister Govindas Konthoujam, Chief Secretaries Meghalaya and Manipur KS Kropha and O Nabakishor Singh, Ambassadors of Phillipines MA Teresita Daza, Dato Paduka Haji Sidek Ali (Brunei), Ton Sinh Thanh (Vietnam), Chalit Manityakul (Thailand), DoNER Secretary Naveen Verma, North Eastern Council Secretary Ram Muivah and representatives from ICC attended the Summit.
Speaking on the occasion, Bangladesh Minister Tofail Ahmed appealed to take advantage of importing fish from Bangladesh as the region is so close to Manipur. Presently, Manipur has been importing fish from other parts of the country such as Andhra Pradesh, etc.
The GDP of Bangladesh has increased by 7.05 per cent because of last year�s BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) agreement, he added. This time, the volume of trade has also increased. Bangladesh has been exporting many items mostly agricultural products to around 107 countries including India. He invited Manipur Chief Minister, Commerce and Industries Minister along with trade delegation to Bangladesh.
Manipur Minister Govindas Konthoujam said that the NE-ASEAN Business Summit aims to attract more tourists, trade and business in NE-ASEAN. North East is in between three big economies � East Asia, South Asia and South East Asia and gateway to neighbouring countries. �NE has been the focus for Government of India. So, let�s try to tap the unexplored potentials of the region,� he stated.
The main highlights of the Summit include a Regional conference on �Ease of Doing Business�, �Agro and Food Processing: Potential and Challenges� and a �Session on Empowering MSME in North East�.