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ITFAA explores Philippines to brand North East
Guwahati, Nov 15:
Published on 15 Nov. 2009 11:50 PM IST
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India ’s Ambassador designate to Philippines Yogendra Kumar has assured all help and cooperation to the Industries and Trade Fair Association of Assam (ITFAA) to boost trade between northeast India and Philippines . Kumar, who is currently on a tour of the northeast, attended an interaction programme organised by ITFAA here on Friday evening. He assured the trade promotion body of every possible help from his side to develop trade ties between north east and Phillipines. During the interaction programme, the ambassador designate took keen interest to know the potentials and problems in the way of developing bilateral trade and investment between the northeastern states and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) nations, particularly Philippines. ITFAA cited lack of necessary infrastructure and poor air connectivity as the major hurdles. “The lack of necessary infrastructure, poor road and air connectivity, absence of any five-star category hotels, etc, are major impediments in the way of attracting foreign investors to the region. Security scenario is not a hurdle as many foreign investors from South East Asia are interested to invest here but the lack of infrastructure is holding them back,” ITFAA vice president Rajesh Das said. Das said that the government should take necessary steps for resumption of the Indian Airlines Guwahati-Bangkok flight at the earliest. “We can also request private airlines like Kingfisher and Jet airways to start flight between Bangkok and Guwahati,” he added. Kumar said that the northeast will be benefited by the Kaladan project, which will connect northeast to the Bay of Bengal through the Kaladan river in Mizoram and the Sittwe port on the western coast of Myanmar. Kumar, who is an officer of the Indian Foreign Service’s 1977 batch, is likely to assume charge as India’s ambassador to Philippines in mid-December. ITFAA office-bearers, including President of the association Jatin Hazarika, Vice President Rajesh Das and Secretary Rajeev Das, were present at the interaction. Besides them, head of external affairs ministry’s branch secretarial in Guwahati and regional passport officer T.Armstrong Changsan, General Manager of the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) J.K. Mahanta, Chief General Manager of BSNL’s Assam circle N. N. Banerjee, business head of Aircel’s Assam and north East circle Dibyajyoti Khound, trade promoter Anoop Khanna, among others. Das also apprised Kumar about various activities ITFAA to promote trade relations between the northeast with different countries. “We explained to him in detail about our trade promotion activities, including holding of Made in North East India fair in Bangkok this year,” the ITFAA vice president said. The ITFAA sought Kumar’s cooperation to hold similar event in Philippines in future. “We are very satisfied at his positive response. He has assured us all possible help from his end,” Das said. Das also highlighted the rich tourism potential of the region. ITFAA is a pioneer in bringing foreign countries such as Kenya , Egypt , Turkey , Myanmar , Iran , Czech Republic , China , Thailand , Bangladesh , Pakistan , etc, to participate in International Guwahati Trade Fair and International Shillong Trade Fair.

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