India strengthens ties with ASEAN countries through car rally
Enthusiastic and adventure loving car rally drivers recently took part in the ASEAN-India Car Rally-2012, a journey covering eight ASEAN nations.
Flagged off on November 26 at Yogyakarta in Indonesia, the 2nd ASEAN-India Car Rally covered a distance of 8,000 kms in 25 days. It had 124 participants from 11 countries, who traveled in 31 vehicles. The rally commemorated 20 years of ASEAN-India relationship as well.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who reached Vietnam during the rally, said that such efforts boosted bilateral ties among the ASEAN nations.
"It will improve connectivity of land, sea and air it will boost trade and investment flows, tourism and build people-to-people contact. I am glad to learn that India and Vietnam are actively working to establish direct air link, which I hope, will fructify in the near future," said Gogoi
On December 15, the rally received a warm welcome when it reached Moreh in Manipur's Chandel district.
The participants from Brunei, Combodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and other countries were given a reception at the historical Kangla Fort.
Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said that theme of this rally is ASEAN-India partnership and prosperity.
The journey of new discovery, partnership and bonding concluded in Assam with a flag down ceremony at the Sarusojai Stadium in Guwahati.
The Assam Government lined up four hours of cultural extravaganza to welcome the participants of the rally and other foreign delegates including Ambassadors of the ASEAN countries.
Yes, the challenge is to ensure seamless smooth connectivity, road and maybe even shipping and air connectivity. So if we have this connectivity and all possible modes of travel, people to people relationships will certainty strengthen and there will be more trade, more commerce," said V S Seshadri, Indian ambassador to Myanmar.
India has been seeking to strengthen ties with its Asian neighbours ever since it initiated the Look East Policy in 1991.
Strengthening of ties and connectivity between India and the ASEAN member countries will be especially beneficial for the northeastern states.