India needs to strengthen its bonds with the ASEAN countries in order to harness the great possibilities in the region. Union minister of state for tourism KJ Alphons on Sunday stressed the need to strengthen the bonds between India and the ASEAN while referring to their common thread particularly through Buddhism and Hinduism.
“There is so much common among the ASEAN countries and India,” he said while speaking at the inaugural session of the 2nd ASEAN-India Youth Summit in Guwahati.
“The Buddhist philosophy and Hindu philosophy are so deeply embedded in the entire ASEAN region and this keeps them united. We must work together to strengthen the bond and build on the ideals,” he said.
The minister said that it were the youths who will determine the future of the world.
He also stressed on the need for the active involvement of the youth in political, economic and social spheres for sustainable peace and all-round development.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal hoped that the confluence of youth leaders from India and the 10 ASEAN countries will lead to a shared understanding of the challenges the countries face.
Sonowal said that many of ASEAN capitals are within 2,000 kilometre flying distance from Guwahati which is comparable to flying distance of Guwahati to many Indian cities. With location-advantage of sharing over 4500 km of international boundary, the Northeast India region has all the potentials of emerging as a new growth hub. Sonowal also said that Guwahati which has been pitched to be the India’s gateway to South East Asian countries, infrastructural capacity of the city is being upgraded considerably. In this context, Sonowal said that the construction of an Integrated Terminal at LGBI Airport involving a financial outlay of Rs 1300 crore is going on in full swing.
More than 150 youth leaders from India and ASEAN members Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will take part in the deliberations over five days.