The ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 will open up the North East to South East Asia for people-to-people contact and promotion of trade and commerce, Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, said on Thursday.

“The surface and cultural connectivity will bring us (NE region and SE Asia) together and promote trade with each other,” Gogoi said at a press meet here in the presence of diplomats from ASEAN countries.

The car rally would demonstrate the ever increasing proximity between India and ASEAN countries and create public awareness of India-ASEAN relations, he said.

It would also promote the Centre’s ‘Look East Policy’ through people-to-people contact, investment, tourism, trade and commerce, he said.

Assam, Gogoi said, has the second highest GDP with the rate being higher than the national average.

The ambassadors of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the High Commissioners of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore were present at the press meet.

The car rally would begin in Indonesia on November 25 and enter Assam on December 16 through the Assam-Nagaland border.

The flag down ceremony would be held here the next day, said Abhijit Barooah, co-Chairman of the CII North East, technical partner of the rally.

This is the third time Assam would be hosting a non-competitive car rally organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with CII, Barooah added.

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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