Union DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Saturday said the Northeastern region will emerge as a favourite tourist and trade destination in India in the post-COVID era.

Speaking as the chief guest in the 8th edition of the North East Festival, organized virtually, Dr Singh said the Northeastern region will take a lead for India to emerge as an economic power with the support of its huge natural and human skill resources.

He said the region will work as a “new engine” to the economy and added that it will emerge as an alternative to the European tourist destinations by virtually remaining pandemic free when other parts of the world were infected by viruses.

The minister expressed hope that holiday lovers from the next season will definitely prefer the Northeastern region for its pristine natural beauty over other global tourist destinations.

He added that the Northeast will stand for New Engine of growth for India when the rest of the world is looking for economic resurgence through trade in post-pandemic times.

He said the region will exploit its vast untapped natural resources including bamboo that could propel Atmanirbhar Abhiyan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by imbibing “Vocal for Local” mantra.

Dr Singh said recently the Central government raised the import duty by 25% on raw bamboo items which will help the domestic bamboo industries like furniture, handicrafts and Agarbatti making in a big way and promote use of bamboo as building material.

Dr Singh said there has been a significant development in terms of road, rail and air connectivity, helping facilitate the movement of goods and persons not only across the region but also across the country.

He said the youth of the region has become more aspirational in recent times and will play an important role to take the region to greater economic heights.

Referring to the Act East policy of the government, Dr Singh said the Northeastern region has a special role to play in the promotion of trade and business relations with ASEAN as it is the gateway to the growing economies of SouthEast Asian Nations.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed the policy of “Look East” to “Act East” to take the bilateral cooperation to newer heights,” he said.

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