India’s Look East Policy has been a notable success since it was announced in 1991, increasing trade with Asean more than tenfold to more than $70 billion. The rapid rise in trade has led to a new focus on the country’s once-neglected Northeast, which is being transformed into a gateway to East and Southeast Asia.
“It is a transformation from a barrier to a bridge. Northeast India now offers numerous opportunities for foreign investors, particularly those neighbouring countries, whether in infrastructure development, agriculture, food processing or tourism and hospitality sectors,” said Abhijit Barooah, co-chairman of the North East Council of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
Northeastern India had long been considered underdeveloped and politically unstable, and was overlooked in government development plans for many years, Mr Barooah told Asia Focus during a recent seminar in Bangkok.
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