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ASEAN Diplomats Confident Of Trade Boom

ASEAN diplomats being interviewed on their arrival at Tulihal Airport.

IMPHAL, Sep 19: Ambassadors of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) who arrived here on a three day visit to the State have expressed confidence that trade and commerce between India and ASEAN countries through Moreh would be feasible.

Malaysian Ambassador Dato Tan Seng Sung who is team leader of the visiting ASEAN diplomats said that the wish of the people of the region to open international trade and commerce through Moreh can be realized.

Myanmarese Ambassador to India Kyl Thein, Singapore Ambassador Calvin Eu, Brunei Ambassador Dato Paduka Haji Sidek Ali, Indonesian Ambassador Ardi Muhammad Ghalib, Thai Ambassador Krit Kraichiffe and Laos Ambassador Thonghpanh Syackha Chom arrived at Imphal today from New Delhi.

Their trip to Manipur is being sponsored by the Ministry of DoNER with a view to give a concrete shape to the Government of India‘s Look East Policy.

Speaking to media persons at Tulihal Airport here, Myanmarese Ambassador Kyl Thein said that their trip is aimed at assessing ground situation for opening international trade via Manipur.

The Ambassadors would visit Moreh tomorrow and inspect the land customs station and other infrastructure available at the border town.

The foreign diplomats would also make an overall assessment of the feasibility of making Moreh a regional trade hub.

In the evening, the ASEAN diplomats held a meeting with Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, Council of Ministers and State Government officials.

During the meeting, Commerce and Industries Director T Panmei explained potentials of Manipur as a partner in the Indo-ASEAN trade.

The Director also made a presentation endorsing that Manipur is a gateway to South East Asia.

He also mentioned about the Trans-Asian Highway and the Trans-Asian Railway which will directly pass through Manipur.

On their part, the Ambassadors invited State Government officials to their respective countries so as to strengthen trade relations between countries.

Ambassadors of Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia expressed keen desire to strengthen trade relations with India as well as enhancement of trade and commerce through Moreh.

Indonesian Ambassador extended invitation to the CM to pay a visit to their country. The foreign diplomats are being accompanied by an official of the Ministry of DoNER.

Before leaving for Aizawl on September 21, the diplomats would visit Kangla, Imphal War Cemetery and some other places. Commenting on the ASEAN Ambassadors’ visit, Prof Amar Yumnam of Economics Department, Manipur University said that the foreign diplomats came here to see what their countries can gain from cross-border trade through Moreh. However, India’s policy to reap benefits from cross-border trade through Moreh still remains obscure, he remarked.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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