Stress on NE-ASEAN tourist linkage

NEW DELHI, Feb 28 – The need for a broad-based Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle (CLV-DT) North East India tourist linkage was highlighted at the ASEAN-North East India Investment and Trade Opportunities Summit at Ho-Chi-Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam.

Development of infrastructure, road and rail connectivity, direct flights to HCMC and relaxation of visa regime including the state-specific restrictions, currently in vogue in the North-east figured at the official discussions. It was mentioned that 2 million tourists visit Cambodia every year, which include a sizeable number of Indians. However, Vietnam receives hardly about 12,000 visitors form India.

The ASEAN-North East India Investment and Trade Opportunities Summit ended on a high note of optimism, claimed officials here today. At least 10 MoUs were signed and 60 positive Expression of Interests (EOIs) were received by Indian Chambers of Commerce, Kolkata, the officials added.

The major areas of interest included construction, tourism, agro-products, handloom & handicrafts sector, power generation, packaging, IT and IT-enabled services, health services and consultancy firms. India is seventh largest trading partner of ASEAN and trade volume during 2007 was to the tune of $ 640 billion.

The HCMC Summit organised by Ministry of DoNER jointly with Indian Chambers of Commerce, Kolkata, was attended by 140 participants from India and nearly 200 participants from Vietnam and neighbouring ASEAN countries. The Government. of India delegation was led by Secretary, DoNER Jarnail Singh, and attended by ministers from Sikkim, Meghalaya and Nagaland. Ministers from Cambodia and Vietnam also participated along with their officials, the officials said.