Imphal, 10 November 2017 ( Evening News ) : Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren today stressed the need to strengthen India Myanmar relationship in view of the Act East Policy to bring the entire region on the path of progress and prosperity. He was addressing the International conference on - Looking Forward: India Myanmar Relations in Yangon. The chief minister said India Myanmar relations can be traced back as early as Emperor Asoka’s time and greatest bond that binds the two great nations is Buddhism. He said Manipur is truly the gateway of India for South-East Asia. Biren maintained that the North-Eastern Region is rich in natural resources and these resources need to be suitably harnessed to raise the living standards and the quality of life of the people. The chief minister said the Government of India has taken many initiatives to strengthen relations between India and South East Asia under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Prime Minister Modi has given a new thrust to these initiatives with his Act East Policy. He mentioned that Manipur Govt has constituted a state level committee to aid and advise in effective operationalisation of Act East Policy in Manipur. Biren said Manipur govt has identified several potential projects for investment under Power, Tourism, Horticulture; Agro based industries, Food Processing, Handloom and Handicraft sectors.
He also said school curriculum should introduce awareness about ASEAN at appropriate levels and every school and college may be encouraged to have an ASEAN society. The Government of Manipur proposes to construct guest houses for Buddhist pilgrims from Myanmar as well as tourists and patients. Biren said the govt plans to set up a regional language study centre in Manipur for developing foreign languages, especially Myanmar and Thai languages and also for setting up Buddhist religious teaching institution(s) in Manipur in alliance with Nalanda University through the Ministry of Culture. He said the Prime Minister of India has mooted the idea of having Inter Regional Media Interaction between Myanmar and India so as to share common issues. Biren invited the Myanmar media fraternity to Manipur during the Sangai Festival 2017. He also expressed the hope that the two day International Conference on Looking Forward: India-Myanmar Relations will certainly pave the way in further strengthening the relations between the countries.