Sinlung /
09 July 2013

Northeast Has Huge Business Potential: UK Envoy

Guwahati, Jul 9 : British high commissioner Sir James Bevan said the dividend of prevailing peace in the northeast is evident in the development that the region has been experiencing.

At an interactive programme organized by the Youth Forum on Foreign Policy (YFFP) here on Monday, Bevan said with peace there has been a marked confidence among people in taking the region to the path of development. The forum is an NGO and Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi's son, Gaurav Gogoi, is its secretary.

"The infrastructure is growing. Soft infrastructures like healthcare and education is also progressing. The growth of the region is remarkably good. As a whole there is huge potential in the region," Bevan observed.

Although Bevan mentioned about the northeast's challenges primarily because of its location sharing border with many countries, at the same time he talked about the region's opportunities in terms of business investment and its location in proximity to Southeast Asia.

"There are challenges, but also immense opportunities. We want to be a partner in the development of the region. Britain has a lot to offer to the northeast. A lot of investors are willing to invest in various sectors. There are immense potentialities in tourism, agriculture and hydro-power. British companies have lot of expertise in the infrastructure sector. Education is also a sector where we collaborate," Bevan said.

The diplomat recalled a comment of a top bureaucrat of the northeast during his earlier visit to the region. He said, "I asked the bureaucrat if I came back to northeast after 20 years, what would you tell me? The bureaucrat replied the region will be the richest place in India. 'I am confident," he added.

Bevan also met chief minister Tarun Gogoi before the interactive session. He talked to Gogoi about how Britain can help in mitigating climate change in the northeast, in general and Assam, in particular.

With Edward Snowden leak creating flutter in media, the diplomat had to face questions from one of the participants during the interactive session about ethics of spying.


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