External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar on Monday said that the government has been trying to develop infrastructure and connectivity, besides enabling the environment in Assam to attract more foreign investment, particularly the Japanese investors.
Accompanied by the Japan Ambassador to India, Satoshi Suzuki, Jaishankar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is very serious to develop the northeastern region and Assam with more investments.
“Japanese companies are familier to Assam. India-Japan partnership can really make a difference. Assam is the springboard of India’s Act East Policy,” he told the media.
Referring to the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) aided projects, the Minister said that several projects worth Rs 9,000 crore to Rs 10,000 crore are almost committed or implemented or under discussions.
He said that the major projects include, Rs 1,600 crore Dhubri-Fulbari bridge, Rs 1,200 crore water supply project, Rs 1,000 crore sewerage projects, Rs 700 crore Dhubri-Fulbari road project, Rs 1,500 crore two laning of Dhudnoi-Dalo roads projects besides Health and Agriculture related projects together around Rs 3,000 crore projects.
He added that some portion of the Kaladan Multi-Model Project in Myanmar already progressed.
“Bulding of link roads up to Mizoram is a problem. There are some law and order related problems also come on the way, but the project would be completed,” he said.
Jaishankar said that India and Japan governments are working together to enhance skill development, business, and investment in a strong manner.
“The visit of the Ambassador of Japan to India to Assam reflects how the Indo-Japan partnership can make a difference in India and more specifically towards the development of Assam.The Indian government took the Act-East Policy to an advanced level to further expand the connectivity with South-East Asia and the outcome is seen with several connectivity projects, economic flows and strategic cooperation,” he said.
The External Affairs Minister said that Assam can play a vital role in transportation and power sector for the northeast region.
Saying that Assam is a major player in producing refined petroleum products and the government is working to facilitate the sale of the product to larger regions, he said that the government is working on pipeline to supply diesel to Bangladesh.
Suzuki said that it is up to the Japanese investor to choose their projects and to invest in Assam with healthy competitions.
“We would provide necessary information to the Japanese companies.”
He said that Japan and India are collaborating for the development of many projects in different parts of India including the northeast region with special focus on Assam.
“Development of the northeast region is indispensable for India to become a five trillion economy. Japan is supporting various connectivity projects in Assam. A 20-Km river bridge will be constructed over Brahmaputra River which will connect Dhubri to Phulbari and this will be the longest river bridge of India,” the envoy said.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that there is tremendous potential in the state for investment in different sectors.
He said that the government has proposed for setting up a Japanese industrial township in a 600 acre plot in Nagarbera of Assam which in a long way will provide industrial development in the state and business for both the countries.
Assam’s Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was also present on the occasion and said that the state is keen in taking forward the act-east policy.A discussion was also held on “Act-East Policy and India-Japan Cooperation in North East India with special focus on Assam”.
Accompanied by Jaishankar, Suzuki arrived in Guwahati on Sunday and visited the JICA aided projects.
In his series of tweets, Suzuki said : “Visited Guwahati Water Supply project site with Dr S. Jaishankar. Japan is pleased to support this important project. Clean water will soon flow to the homes in Guwahati.”
“Smart ideas for a smart city! Young Japanese entrepreneurs of Terra Motors India are building e-rickshaws in Assam. Japanese eco-friendliness meets Indian traditions. Very impressive! I discovered artisanal spirits of North East at Konyak store in Guwahati. These are all the crafts of Assam! One interesting idea would be to pursue Japan-India collaboration for upgrading bamboo crafts,” the visiting Ambassador tweeted.