Tue, Oct 25, 2016 | updated 05:31 PM IST

Emphasis to harness BCIM economic corridor at NE connectivity summit of FICCI

Updated: Sep 23, 2016 13:15 IST

Agartala [India], Sept 23 (ANI):Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar should engage in proactive policies for engagement with neighbours by building connectivity and harnessing economic complementariness and improving people-to-people contact said a senior Minister of Bangladesh speaking on the second day of three-day long North East Connectivity Summit.

"Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) region is one of the richest in the world in terms of resources. This region covers 9 percent of the world's total area, 7.3 percent of the global domestic product and involves 440 million people. I believe that the proposed economic corridor of BCIM has huge prospects in the arena of trade, investment, energy, transport and tourism," said Bangladesh Minister of Industries, Amir Hossain Amu.

He added, "I hope today's initiative will deepen friendly cooperation among the four member nations and connect South Asia with South-East and East Asia by building multi-modal connectivity, harnessing economic complementariness and boosting people to people relations among BCIM."

Praising India for all help during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh from Pakistan the Minister viewed that Bangladesh as a close door neighbour of India and especially the north-eastern states, presents immense opportunity to improve business for reciprocal economic development and it is high time that steps should be taken for utilization of those opportunities for economic development through smooth business environment and proactive policy of engagement with neighbours.

Adding to the Bangladesh Minister, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar viewed that at present India has all time good relation with its South East Asia neighbours especially Bangladesh and should utilize it for improving connectivity, trade and other relations.

He said, "At present the relation (of India) with Bangladesh is very good and outstanding, it has to be utilized in a positive manner. In this regard government of India has to come forward with all seriousness. Of course our relation with other South East Asian countries is also good and improving, this situation was not like ten years back.

Sarkar giving all credits to the present government in Delhi for improving the relation with it foreign neighbours in the South East Asia suggested that India's foreign policy should have any 'big brotherly' attitude especially towards its neighbouring which are small nations.

Meantime, Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang who also took part in the summit suggested that considering the unique land holding system among the Nagas, the government of India should consider an unfenced border in the India-Myanmar border and instead of raising barbed wire fencing the policy makers should think of construction of roads and which will help in not only better connectivity and improved trade and relation but also in counter insurgency operations of the security forces and better trade prospect at the local level.

He said, "I want the policy makers and planners to clearly understand the peculiar nature of Nagaland sector of Indo-Myanmar border. The situation is more or less similar in Manipur and Mizoram of Indo-Myanmar border. In fact what we need is not barbed wire fencing but construction of road along and across the border. In fact we should have proper communication instead of keeping this as wildlife sanctuary."

The Nagaland Chief Minister viewed that taking advantage of the absence of the road communication and security movement the militants have turned this area as the hideout and training camp and which can only stop with construction of roads and development of the area.

He asked the India government to start dialogue with its counterpart in Myanmar and come to a common conclusion for starting construction of roads and other developmental activities on both sides of the border within the 25 km aerial restriction area on both sides of the Indo-Myanmar border.

Zeliang said, "So as to unlock the landlocked area and promote trade and development in this state it is the absence of road and communication that makes this area perfect hiding ground for various underground groups. Restriction on various constructions on the border areas need to e relaxed for Indo-Myanmar bordering area. The Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs have been imposing various restrictions on construction and other development activities in bordering areas due to security reasons. There is a restriction on construction of road within 25 km aerial distance from the international Indo-Myanmar border and which means a lot."

The programme has been organized by FICCI at Pragna Bhavan, Agartala with support of Govt of Tripura, Ministry of DoNER, North East Council and DIPP to formulate policies regarding connectivity in the region. (ANI)