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ASEAN-India Car Rally a symbol of connectivity: Gogoi

Posted on Dec 06, 07:18PM | UNI

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said the ASEAN-India Car Rally symbolizes connectivity between ASEAN and India, not merely physical, but also spiritual, cultural and emotional.

He was speaking at the Welcome Ceremony for the ASEAN-India Car Rally at the Reunification Palace at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, an official statement said here.

Mr Gogoi said, 'As the chief minister of Assam, a region which shares a land border with ASEAN, I am here to show our strong desire to strengthen connectivity and cooperation.

Improved connectivity on land, at sea and by air will boost trade and investment flows, tourism and people-to-people contacts." Mr Gogoi expressed hope that the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 'will open up the Northeast region to South East Asia for people-to-people contact'.

He said the Northeast has 'a strong historical and sub-regional affinity towards the ASEAN nations'.

Mr Gogoi hoped direct air links between India and Vietnam in the near future would lead to enhanced trade and commerce.

Expressing his gratitude to the leadership of Vietnam and to the Peoples' Committee of Ho Chi Minh City for extending their support towards organising the rally, Mr Gogoi said ASEAN has emerged as the pivot of India's 'Look East Policy', which has paid rich dividends to both sides.

Mr Gogoi also saluted the teams from all ASEAN countries for undertaking the arduous but adventurous journey overland to India and said, 'We are eagerly looking forward to welcoming you all in Guwahati, the capital of Assam, on December 16-17, and then in New Delhi on December 20, 2012.' The ceremony was attended, among others, by Delegate of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and Director General of the Department of Planning and Investment, Thai Van Re, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, Mr Hua Ngoc Thuan, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, Ranjit Rae, Consul General Abhay Thakur, Director General, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Ho Chi Minh City branch, Vo Tan Thanh, Chairman, Vietnam-India Business Forum and Chairman, Hoa Sen Group, Le Phuoc Vu, Leader of the CII business delegation to Vietnam, Pradipta Mohapatra and representatives of Vietnamese and Indian business communities.

The ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012, jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), kicked off on November 26 last at Yogyakarta in Indonesia with a ceremonial flag off at Singapore.

The car rally commemorates 20 years of ASEAN-India relationship in the run-up to the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit.