NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chief Ministers of the northeastern states today deliberated on the intra-regional and sub-regional connectivity of the area, considered India's gateway to Southeast Asia.
The focus of the discussion was on the continued development of relevant infrastructure both within the state and at international borders with a view to enhance trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people ties.
Swaraj said the state governments of the northeastern region were active stakeholders in India's Act East Policy.
Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh participated in the meeting.
Representatives from concerned ministries of the Centre and the governments of the northeastern states were also present.
The meeting followed up on an earlier meeting chaired by Swaraj with the governors of the northeastern states in November 2017.
"The meeting deliberated on the northeastern region's intra-regional and sub-regional surface and air linkages, focusing on seamless connectivity with its contiguous neighbourhood.
"Continued development of relevant infrastructure both within the state and at international borders was also discussed with a view to enhancing trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people ties," the statement said.
ASEAN is an important element of India's Act East Policy.
Early this year, India hosted the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.
The northeast is also considered India's gateway to Southeast Asia and New Delhi has initiated several connectivity projects like the trilateral highway involving India-Myanmar-Thailand to link the region with ASEAN countries.