GUWAHATI: Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday said his government was working to transform Guwahati as a gateway to Southeast Asia.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Sonowal said the state is eyeing the ASEAN market, besides the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal).
“We are trying to develop Guwahati not as only a gateway to the northeast but also for Southeast Asia. With the help of all sections of people of the state, the present state government has been trying to make Assam a hot spot in the landscape of South East Asian countries. The ASEAN block provides a large and lucrative market for Assam,” the chief minister said, adding that with adequate emphasis on agriculture and its allied sectors, Assam can capture markets of ASEAN and BBN countries.
At the global investors’ summit held in Assam in 2018, the state had received investment proposals worth Rs 79,000 crore, Sonowal said. “Of that Rs 55,000 crore has already landed in the state,” he added.
“The government of Assam gave special thrust to the agriculture sector by announcing a slew of incentives for setting up rice clusters, mills and cold storages,” Sonowal said. He added that Aatma Nirbhar Bharat will be fulfilled only when Assam becomes self-sufficient.
Sonowal said the financial outlay of Rs 20 lakh crore during the lockdown period helped the MSME sector in Assam. “With the help of this package, the Government of Assam has arranged for collateral free loans to 68,000 MSMEs in the state,” he added.
With regard to international connectivity, he informed that the Government of Assam is working effectively to promote connectivity under the BBIN- MVA agreement to increase economic activities between Assam and its neighbouring countries.
Mayank Jalan, president of Indian Chamber of Commerce, in his welcome remarks mentioned that under the leadership of Sarbananda Sonowal, the Government of Assam has taken effective measures to make the state economically and socially vibrant and free from insurgency and corruption.

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