India needs stronger ties with ASEAN, China to maintain growth of economy: Experts

Agartala (Tripura) [India], Apr 21 (ANI): India needs to form stronger ties with ASEAN and China in order to ensure that its economic growth, say experts.

"If we have to sustain our growth now, the Look East has become extremely important. Because we are to increase our stronger ties, we must not think that the Chinese are our enemy or Chinese think that we are their enemy. We must have stronger ties among the Asian countries because the 21st century belongs to Asia and we have to see that actually the 21st century belongs to Asia so we have stronger ties with the Eastern countries and exchange. It's an exchange programme, you give something, you gain something. It cannot be one way; that is one problem with China. China normally doesn't get engaged with others unless it sees only its profit," said M. P. Bezbaruah, Director, Institute of North East India Studies, Gauhati University.

He was speaking at the one-day seminar titled 'Act East for sustaining India's growth story: from the mainstreaming of the North East to countering Deglobalization was organized by the ASEAN Study Centre under the Ministry of External Affairs and Holy Cross College, Agartala.

Bezbaruah expressed that in India's Act East Policy a major role is being played by Myanmar as it is the connecting country between India and the prosperous region of the ASEAN region.

He also viewed that with the increasing multilateral cooperation between India and its neighouring nations like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Bhutan militant activities in the Northeastern region have drastically come down as they are no more able to hit and run to those countries.

This has also lead to peace talks between several major banned militant groups and the government of India thus changing the perception among outsiders about the region which once was thought to the breeding ground of insurgents.

The other speaker at the seminar was Professor Gautam Basu, Vice Chancellor, Maharaja Bir Bikram University, who stressed on improving regional connectivity in India's northeast region with its neighours and reviving the pre-partition connectivity for increasing trade and commerce for development of the region. (ANI)