At their capital Vientiane, the Chief Minister had separate meetings with Prime Minister’s Office Minister Alunkeo, Commerce and Industry Minister Khemmani Pholsena and Information, Culture and Tourism Minister Bosengkham Vongdara during his recent visit to the South East Asian country which began on August 6 and ended yesterday.
CM N Biren had fruitful discussions on myriad issues including culture, tourism and trade potentials with the Ministers.
He told the Ministers that Manipur and Laos would automatically witness upswing in bilateral trade and co-operations once people to people connectivity is boosted apart from enhancing surface and air connectivity.
The Chief Minister pointed out that Manipur shares close affinity in terms of culture, customs and food habits not only with Laos but also with most of the ASEAN countries.
The Ministers expressed astonishment when N Biren mentioned about the similarities of Laos and Manipur in food habits and many other things.
All the Ministers expressed their willingness to visit Manipur when the Chief Minister invited them to this year’s Manipur Sangai Festival.
N Biren said that the Government of India had transformed its ‘Look East Policy’ into ‘Act East Policy’ with a renewed vigour to enhance ties with ASEAN countries in terms of bilateral relations and trade.
The India-Myanmar-Thailand tri-lateral highway, which would connect Moreh in Manipur with Mae Sot in western Thailand through Mandalay in Myanmar would certainly boost trade between Manipur and ASEAN countries, N Biren observed.
During the meeting, the Ministers sought investment in IT sector from the Government of India.
N Biren presented shawls having Sangai prints and Pakhangba mementos to the Ministers and top officials, whom he met during the tour.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by MLA Dr S Ranjan, MLA L Susindro, Advisor to CM Rajat Sethi and Personal Secretary to CM S Rajen during his visit.
The team returned Imphal today.
Source: The Sangai Express