The fourth India-Japan intellectual conclave, ‘Kizuna’ was organised by Asian Confluence here today in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Embassy of Japan in India and the North Eastern Council (NEC).
The conclave titled, “North East India, Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal region in the Indo-Pacific: The Way Forward,” was attended by Ambassador of Japan to India, Hiroshi Suzuki who highlighted on the necessity to identify the actionable projects for new investments in the region.
Focusing on connectivity between India and Bangladesh, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India, Mustafizur Rehman said that connectivity projects must be mutually beneficial.
Special Secretary, Economic Relations & Development Partnership Administration of the minister, P Kumaran emphasized on the projects that are taken up in the Northeast and explained how robust connectivity between India and Bangladesh could become a game changer for the Bay of Bengal region.
NEC Secretary highlighted on the on the importance of Bangladesh in Northeast’s future and said that to go east one must go through south.
Meghalaya Chief Secretary Donald P Wahlang stated by 2047 Northeast could contribute around 5 per cent of India’s GDP.
Panel discussions on the topics “Towards Creating Industrial Value Chains: Voices from the industry,” and “Empowering Institutional Infrastructure for people connectivity,” were chaired by the Members of the Governing Council, Asian Confluence, Ajay Sethi, Managing partner ASA Associates and Riva Ganguly Das, Former Secretary East, MEA respectively.
Representatives from Japanese institutions such as JICA and JETRO shared their ideas to strengthen the connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region.
Several policy makers, institutional representatives, academicians and the media from India, Bangladesh and Japan shared their ideas to strengthen people to people ties within the region and with Japan.
Members of Parliament and political leaders from the region, who were also part of the delegation that visited Japan in 2023 as a part of the project initiated by Sasakawa Peace Foundation, S Phangnon Konyak, Vincent Pala, Rajdeep Roy, Tapir Gao and Mmhonlumo Kikon proposed several ideas that could be taken up in the Northeast by leveraging Japanese technology and know-how.
Mizoram Minister Lalnghinglova Hmar stressed on the necessity to take the advantage of high literacy rate, large forest cover and tech savvy youth of the state to attract investments.
Meghalaya Minister Paul Lyngdoh in his valedictory address highlighted the necessity to make youth as ambassadors of people to people connectivity between Northeast, Bangladesh and Japan.