Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal with the Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui in Guwahati on Monday. – AT Photo
GUWAHATI, April 17 – Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui today called on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the latter’s office at Janata Bhawan and discussed various issues of mutual interest, according to an official statement issued here today.
Stating that both Assam and China must explore opportunities of business and economic activities, Sonowal said since there is geographic proximity of the State with the neighbouring country, they can be natural allies in furthering business interests that can be beneficial to the peoples of Assam and China.
Seeking cooperation from the Chinese Ambassador in sending a delegation from the State to study the successful management of the Huang Ho river, the Chief Minister said that managing the Brahmaputra has been a big concern for Assam and the State would benefit a lot by learning from the Chinese how the Huang Ho has been turned into a resource from a problem.
Responding to the Chinese Ambassador’s request to reopen the Stilwell Road and thereby re-establish historical trade links with China, Sonowal said the Central Government has taken keen interest developing the Northeast as major trade hub of South East Asia under the Act East Policy and opening roadways with neighbouring countries is high on the Centre’s agenda.
The Ambassador urged the Chief Minister to consider setting up ties with the Kunming and Yunan provinces as both are geographically closer to the State and he extended invitation to the Chief Minister to the Trade Summit to be held in Kunming in June this year.
Accepting his invitation, Sonowal informed the Chinese Ambassador that the State Government is going to organise a Global Business Summit in November this year and he urged the Ambassador to facilitate participation of Chinese companies in the Summit in a big way.
Saying that the Guwahati-Kunming road link would open up huge opportunities for the region as well as the country to achieve high growth in trade and business, Sonowal said that Chinese expertise in building bullet trains and river dredging for plying big cargo ships in the Guangzhou river would have to be mastered by India for achieving progress in these sectors.
Evincing interest in developing sports science and sport medicine with Chinese help for preparing world-class athletes in the State, Sonowal said that increased people-to-people contact and cultural exchanges would bring the people of Assam and China closer and facilitate an environment for growth and prosperity.