Press Release: NADI Conclave begins in Guwahati

 Press Release

NADI Conclave begins in Guwahati
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar stresses on collaboration between NE India, Bangladesh and ASEAN
Guwahati, May 28: NADI 3 Asian Confluence River Conclave 2022 began in Guwahati on May 28. The two-day conclave is being organised by Shillong-based think tank Asian Confluence in collaboration with the Union External Affairs Ministry, Act East Policy Affairs Department of the Assam government, North Eastern Council and other partners.
The Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies is the country partner for the event and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IIT Guwahati and Guwahati University are knowledge partners.
On the inaugural session of the two-day conclave was attended by Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Memon, Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, High Commissioner of Singapore to India Simon Wong, Ambassador of Cambodia to India Ung Sean, Assam Minister of Trade, Industry and Act East Affairs Chandramohan Patowary, Chairman of Governing Council, Asian Confluence MP Bezbaruah and Executive Director of Asian Confluence Sabyasachi Dutta.   
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said: What happens when the Northeast, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar get more deeply intertwined – each of them stands to benefit from more access, opportunities, resources and markets. These endeavours will literally bring ASEAN closer to us.
Given the prioritization of the Northeast by the (Narendra) Modi government, it’s only obvious that we should work with our most trusted global partners.
In 2017, we launched the India-Japan Act East Forum as a platform to bring together all the stakeholders and coordinate planning and implementation of the projects being undertaken with Japanese assistance.
Diplomacy is not just about bridging positions through wordsmithery. It is equally about bridging societies through projects. It is about connectivity, it is about contacts, it is about cooperation.
Today, I have the privilege of both sharing some big picture thoughts on what regional cooperation has to offer as well as detailing activities that make it possible which is only fitting if I do so in Guwahati in the presence of the (Assam) Chief Minister.
The participation of my Bangladeshi counterpart only highlights the indispensable role of his nation as a partner in this regard.
Equally relevant is the presence of the ASEAN ambassadors with us.
The presence of our Japanese colleagues brings out the catalytic role that our co partner can play.
Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said: I congratulate the organisers Asian Confluence for this remarkable initiative that brings together policy makers, scientists, international organisations, civil society, trade bodies and academia to brainstorm on the common challenges and to foster regional cooperation for sustainable development.  
Northeast, including Assam, not only provides the only land link between India and ASEAN region, but also acts as a cultural and civilisational bridge.
Due to its strategic location, Assam provides a great opportunity for economic growth.
The state has immense potential in the tourism sector, including wildlife tourism, tea tourism and river tourism. Our government is taking necessary steps in this direction.
River tourism in Assam opens the avenue for other platforms in the tourism circuit. Brahmaputra has immense potential.  
Our government’s vision is to develop Assam as a river cruise hub in Asia.  
In a special plenary session “Ganga to Mekong: Eastern South Asia and South-East Asia: Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence”, Union Minister, Ports, Shipping and Ayush, Government of India, Sarbananda Sonowal participated.
Sarbananda Sonowal said: Assam has strong historical and cultural relations with South East Asia. The architect of greater Assamese society Chaolung Sukapha came to Assam from South East Asia in the 13th century.
Our shared history and familiar conditions have created a common ground to build a peaceful and sustainable future. The Indian government is deeply committed to work towards its ambitious Act East Policy, as envisaged by our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, to advance our shared values and legacy for the benefit of humanity, peace, stability and prosperity. With evolving global realities, the engines of economic growth are moving towards. We have an opportunity here to become partners as the Indian Ocean becomes the centre of the emerging ‘Age of Asia’. This new awakening is a recognition of our interlinked destinies, interdependence for a cleaner environment and in our belief of shared opportunities. We, who live in & around our Indian Ocean, must own & bear primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
About NADI:
NADI is an initiative to articulate and activate a collective vision of sub-regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region and with South-East Asia. It recognizes the region south of Himalayas from Ganga, Brahmaputra to Mekong as a contiguity of river basins with common challenges that require close cooperation beyond their political borders.
It is also aimed at building confidence in the key role of North-Eastern Indian region in taking forward strategic initiatives for energy and water security in the neighbourhood, and the Bay of Bengal region leading towards a vibrant and secure Indo-Pacific.(Ends)