"Assam and the northeast are generally not identified as business destinations, but the region has a lot of potential," Shanmugam, who is on a day-long trip here, said while addressing local industry leaders and senior government officials.
"It is heartening to know that the security situation is improving in the region. The region is exciting from the point of view of the hospitality sector and we believe there is opportunity for Singapore business houses to tap the potential of hospitality in this region," he said.
Singapore, one of the founding members of Asean, is also looking at the northeast as a bridge between it and India. "We think Assam and the northeast has potential beyond investment destinations. There is also the issue of connectivity," he said.
"There are plans within the Asean to establish strong connectivity between the north and south and I know that the Indian government is also looking to connect the northeast to some of the Asean countries. These plans have to be taken further," Shanmugam said.
He said another India-Asean car rally, on the lines of the one undertaken in 2004, is being planned. "We are planning another car rally. This time it will culminate in Guwahati," the minister said.