- NET Web Desk
After being dormant for more than two years due to the unprecedented times of COVID-19 pandemic, the second edition of ‘North East India Festival’ was officially inaugurated on July 30 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The effort presents the rich cultural legacy of northeastern regions to the global community; thereby boosting trade, intercultural exchange, tourism etc.
Addressing the ceremony, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand – Mr. Laksanawisit expressed his gratitude towards the Government of India for organizing the 2nd edition of North East India Festival at Bangkok in the 75th year of India’s Diplomatic Relations with Thailand.
He opined that “Thailand is historically and geographically very close of India’s North East and this North East India Festival will help in pushing trade, tourism and people to people connect with the both the regions.”
The inaugural session was organized at Centara Grand Hotel, which was attended by top policymakers of Thailand, industrialists, well-known personalities of India and top policymakers, entrepreneurs of North East India.
Mr. H.E. Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand who is in charge of Commerce Minister attended as Chief Guest in presence of the Meghalaya Chief Minister – Conrad Sangma, Nagaland Chief Minister – Neiphiu Rio, Deputy Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh – Chowna Mein, Union Minister of State (External Affairs) – RK Ranjan, Textile Minister of Assam – Urkhao Gwra Brahma, Tourism Minister of Arunachal Pradesh – Nakap Nalo, Tourism Minister of Mizoram – Robert Rongmawaia Royte, Revenue Minister of Assam – Jogen Mohan, top officials of Royal Thai Govt, representatives of various NER States etc.
The programme commenced with a beautiful Sattriya dance performance by Ms Mridusmita Das.
The India’s Ambassador to Thailand – Suchitra Durai, in her welcome address opined that after the successful first edition, the second edition of North East India Festival is a celebration of Indo-Thai relationship and to connect India’s North East to Thailand.
She presented a brief background on the various components of North East India festival and informed that it’s a joint initiative of Indian Embassy, Ministry of External Affairs and Trend MMS, led by Shyamkanu Mahanta who have done painstaking job in bringing a large team of cultural performers, entrepreneurs, Govt officials to Bangkok to showcase the region.
The Deputy CM of Arunachal Pradesh noted the Tai connect of Thailand with North East and highlighted similarity in terms of festivals, food habits and customs. He also presented about the investment and tourism potential of Arunachal.
Besides, the Meghalaya CM delivered an inspiring speech about shared history of North East India with Thailand, and mentioned that the event is a beginning and continuous efforts must be made at various levels to keep up the engagement.
He expressed hope that the occasion will open up opportunities in trade and tourism and urged Royal Thai Government to promote trade between Thailand with entire North East India.
The Union MoS for External Affairs – R.K Ranjan informed that India’s Act East Policy is the main focus of Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi and this is a project to promote Act East.
The Nagaland CM expressed hope that North East India Festival is a serious effort to promote Act East Policy and result with surely come. He welcomed investors and tourists to Nagaland and rest of NER.
Rio has also suggested that Chief Ministers of NER will work closely with Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of DoNER to promote the region outside as well as in India.
Besides, the 81-member team of TaFMA Nagaland presented a spectacular performance of Naga folk music, choral music, dance forms and rock music which enthralled the crowd.
The Chief Organiser – Shyamkanu Mahanta informed that continuous efforts will be made on the positive outcomes to be taken forward for a meaningful developments in the ground.
“A trade meet was organized wherein around 60 buyers of Thailand interacted with MSME entrepreneurs, Govt agencies. The focus was on Tea, coffee, agro horti products, bamboo products, substanil lead was generated in the form of new business creations,” – informed an official release.
Mahanta informed that the programme kicked-off on Friday, with a B2B Meet on Tourism which was attended by 150 tour operators of Thailand interacting with State Tourism Departments of North East, tour operators, top policymakers of Thailand and North East India.
A large exhibition of products of NER, cuisines, crafts, State tourism potential has also been organized.
The key attractions of the event include – Cultural dance forms of North East, spectacular fashion, musical performance by well known musical bands of North East, Thai rock band Stamp and spectacular fashion show displaying handloom products of NER.