India-ASEAN to play a lead role in Post-COVID World Economic Recovery: Dr. Jitendra Singh

New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that India and ASEAN will play a lead role in the Post-COVID World Economic Recovery. He said, the future belongs to them due to common traits of grit, courage and determination to scale newer heights. Delivering the keynote address on Cross-border Conversations with entrepreneurs from ASEAN organized by India ASEAN Women’s Business Forum and FLO Mumbai chapter and FICCI, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that due to close business and cultural ties between India and ASEAN, the region will take a lead in the economic recovery in the post Corona era. The Minister said that North Eastern Region has a special role to play in the promotion of trade and business relations with ASEAN as it is the gateway to the growing economies of South East Asian Nations. He said, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has changed the policy of “Look East” to “Act East” to take the bilateral cooperation to newer heights.

Referring to the connectivity issues, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that in the last six years, there has been a significant development in terms of Road, Rail and Air connectivity, helping facilitate the movement of goods and persons not only across the region but also across the country. He recalled that that the Indo-Bangladesh treaty for exchange of enclaves, which was accomplished under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared the decks for ease of business, ease of movement and ease of commuting, which was earlier a tedious task. He said that very soon we are also going to have a train to Bangladesh from Tripura heralding a new chapter and opening new vistas in the development of this region by providing the entire region access to the seaports. He also underlined the continued focus of the Indian Government to explore the alternate modes of transport that is Inland Waterways (from Brahmaputra to Bay of Bengal) connecting with other countries of the region as a cheaper option for trade, business and transportation. He said this will boost the trade across the borders especially with our eastern neighbours by leaps and bounds.

Dwelling on the all-round developmental role played by women folk and women self-help groups in the North Eastern Region, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that this is a shining example of women emancipation and women empowerment. He said even during the times of pandemic, women from the North East took a lead and produced and distributed sanitizer and beautiful masks on a large scale. He said that women have excelled in the fight against Pandemic and helped North-Eastern Region to emerge as a Model of Corona Management.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Jitendra Singh expressed hope that Bamboo will play a vital role in post COVID economic recovery and India and ASEAN will join together to realize its full potential in all aspects of life. In this regard, he referred to the amendment in the 100-year-old Indian Forest Act brought about by the Modi government in 2017, as a result of which, home grown bamboo has been exempted from it in order to enhance livelihood opportunities through bamboo.

Sharing his optimism for tourism sector in the North-East, the Minister said, when main tourist spots of the World still remain infested with Corona, the N-E region could emerge as tourist destination of the world by remaining Corona-free virtually.

Dr. Jitendra Singh also launched the India-ASEAN Joint Business Collaboration for Women on the occasion. The Minster was also awarded with the Green Certificate for his concerns on sustainable development.

Pacita Juan from Philippines, ASEAN Chair, Ma Khine Zaw from Myanmar Nadira Yousuff from Malaysia, Vinita Bimbhet, India Chair, India ASEAN Women’s Business Forum, Jahnabi Phookan, National President, FLO and Joyshree Das Verma among others took part in the webinar.