The Central Govt is building infrastructure to make North East India an important business hub under India’s Act East Policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said during inauguration of Bhupen Hazarika Bridge in the month of May.
In order to make the dream of the Prime Minister a reality and keeping an eye on the business opportunities with South East Asian countries, the Assam Government has opened the Act East Policy Department.
According to Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, the Assam Govt came up with the idea of Act East department since the North East has been put in the forefront of development initiatives of the Central Govt. He said the Act East Policy Department will ensure the implementation of Act East Policy in a time bound manner.
Arunachal Pradesh Govt also hoped that the Act East policy will be a game changer for the North East region, particularly for Arunachal Pradesh.
Participating in a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Asean-India Dialogue Partnership in Lao People’s Republic capital Vientiane in recent past, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein had also invited the Asean nations to explore investment possibility in Arunachal Pradesh. Mein further opined that cultural similarity between the people of Asean countries and Northeast India is a plus point for promotion of economic activities. In this regard, Mein reiterated that re-opening of the historic Stilwell will facilitate transportation of commodities being produced in Arunachal Pradesh.
The objective of Act East Policy is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels thereby providing enhanced connectivity to the North East including Arunachal Pradesh with other neighbouring countries. But in reality, it seems, except Assam, other states of the North East are yet to take bold steps to reap the benefit under Act East Policy. It is time for the state Govt to rethink and act wisely so that the policy become a game changer for Arunachal Pradesh in the truest sense.