Working to transform Guwahati as gateway to Southeast Asia: Sonowal

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal (Photo: Wikipedia)

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Monday that 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. The ASEAN block provides a large and lucrative market for Assam," he said.

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 chief minister said that his government has been able to bring benefits worth Rs 2,000 crore for the MSME sector from the Centre's assistance programme, announced during the pandemic.

Sonowal said that the focus area for the state is agriculture, and Israel has promised to provide the best technology for the development of the sector.

The state is now sending vegetables by cargo flights to countries such as UK, Singapore and UAE, he noted.

Sonowal claimed that the state has handled the COVID- 19 well, as seen from the low mortality rates.

The government is now working to boost the health infrastructure, he said.

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