Union DoNER minister Dr Jitendra Singh said Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s vision of ‘Act East’ imparted a new push to “our approach and focus to our relations with neighbouring countries” through Act East policy.

Addressing the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange (APYE) meet along with the Vice President of the Republic of Philippines, Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo and Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, Dr Singh said he was pleased to note that the northeastern state of Mizoram was hosting the meet.

He said, the Northeastern region is surrounded by international borders and serves as India’s gateway to the East.

Dr. Singh said ever since Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister, he has accorded a special priority to the development of the Northeastern region of India.

This also assumes importance because if India has to successfully engage with the countries across the eastern borders, it must have a strong basis in the areas proximal to eastern borders which comprise the Northeastern states, he added.

With its geographical position and rich natural as well as agro-climatic resources, Dr. Singh said access to the growing ASEAN market is essential for optimum utilization of trade and business opportunities.

He recalled how on the intervention of Prime Minister Modi, the Indo-Bangladesh agreement was successfully accomplished resulting in the exchange of enclaves thus facilitating easier and cost-effective access to Bangladesh and other regions.

The DoNER minister noted that “in the times to come, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) will be our guide for integrating social, economic and environmental dimensions of development”.

To that extent, he also appreciated the efforts made by the organizers of the Meet to hold interactions of Asia Pacific society with the local communities, said a statement issued by the DoNER ministry.

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