Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Advantage Assam Global Investors Summit 2018 in presence of a strong gathering of top business leaders at the Sarusajai Stadium complex in Guwahati on Saturday.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

Addressing the gathering, the prime minister said that Assam is ready for global investments.

“Assam is gearing up to welcome investors. We are happy that Assam is working as a bridge to the ASEAN countries. The Advantage Assam tagline – India’s expressway to ASEAN – is very apt and displays our thrust with the Act East policy,” Modi said.

PM Narendra Modi also talked about importance of agricultural development. “Be it India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal or the ASEAN, agricultural development is very important. We are investing Rs 14 lakh crores on the agriculture sector,” Modi said.

Modi main photo – The News Mill

Modi added that bamboo being recognized as grass will help the people from the Northeast region. “I believe people from the Northeast India faced a lot of difficulties because of bamboo not being acknowledged as grass. The national bamboo mission will ease that problem,” said Modi.

“Northeast is at the heart of the Act East Policy. Our relationship with ASEAN goes back to hundreds of years. I am happy that Assam is becoming the bridge to ASEAN. Bangladesh has set up office in Guwahati, so has Bhutan. This is a good sign,” Modi added.

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Present on the occasion was Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay who earlier accompanied Modi to inspect some of the exhibition stalls. The Bhutan PM acknowledged the role played by India since its first diplomatic relations began 50 years back. “I must thank India for its support and role in helping us make Bhutan a modern nation. I am happy that this year marks the 50 years of our diplomatic relationship,” said Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay addressing the gathering.

SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh informed that SpiceJet will soon operate in Jorhat and Lakhimpur. He also added that the airline is planning to start services to Thailand and other ASEAN countries from Guwahati. “We want to start seaplane service in Assam making Brahmaputra river one of the largest runways for the service,” said Ajay Singh, CMD SpiceJet.

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said that the company will invest Rs 2500 crores in the retail sector in Assam. Also, Ambani said that Jio will open offices in every tehsil headquarters in the state. Besides, he added that Reliance Foundation will work with the Assam government to promote conservation of wildlife in the Northeast state. “I am a nature lover. I am happy to announce that Reliance Foundation will soon work with the Assam government to help make people aware about wildlife conservation,” Ambani said.

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Speaking about the contribution of the Indian Super League to Indian football, the Reliance Industries chairman informed the gathering that ISL will work with the Assam government to promote football in the state.

Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu and Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal welcomed Prime Minister Modi and Tobgay with traditional japi, xorai and gamosa.

Assam industries and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary delivered the welcome speech.  “We have taken the first step today. This is for the very first time that Assam is hosting such a mega event promoting the state. I welcome you all to the Summit and hope that you will continue to support this endeavour,” he said.

SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS: Global Investors Summit 2018, #PMinAdvantageAssam, #AdvantageAssam started trending on Twitter before the inauguration of the event as netizens commented on the investment opportunities in the state. With the presence of top business leaders, netizens were upbeat that the Summit will bring much needed development to the state.

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Jayanta Deka is a Guwahati-based journalist with over a decade of experience in journalism. Tracking new media, technology, startups and politics interest him. He can be reached through [email protected]


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