Conrad, Taiwan Ambassador to India call for close cooperation

SHILLONG, Jul 25: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Kongkal Sangma on Wednesday suggested collaboration in trade between the north eastern states and the ASEAN countries.

Conrad was speaking at the inauguration of the 5th Act East Policy Business Show-2018 organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

According to Conrad with Meghalaya in particular and the region in general producing various varieties of bamboo, the governments of this region can have collaboration with Taiwan who has the most advances technologies in making various products out of it.

“Taiwan can revolutionise bamboo sector in the north east,” the Chief Minister said.

He also said that Meghalaya can use the technical know-how of Vietnam in value adding jackfruit.

Conrad reminded the gathering that in Meghalaya jackfruit goes to waste since no one knows how to re-package the fruit even as he added that recently the state government launched the draft policy for the jackfruit.

“Vietnam is an advance nation to process jackfruit. But they are running out of the fruit,” the Chief Minister added.

Meanwhile, Conrad also said that he has been advocating that the Chief Ministers of the north east should travel to the South East Asian countries by road.

“To send a strong message we should travel to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and beyond by road,” he said.

The Chief Minister also reiterated the need to have a balance between the economy and the ecology.

He reminded the gathering that Meghalaya is involved in coal and limestone mining.

“We can’t stop all the (harmful) effects but we can minimise them by having stringent laws and make sure that they are implemented,” Conrad said.

Moreover, the Ambassador of Taiwan to India, Chuang Kwang Tien also echoed Conrad’s views in collaboration in the bamboo sector.

“It (bamboo) can produce a lot of things not only furniture,” Tien said.

The Ambassador pointed out that bamboo charcoal, with its unique micro-structure, can be used to purify water also vinegar can be made out of bamboo.

Tien also said that the other product that can be exported from the region into the South East Asian countries is mushroom which is a delicacy for people there.

The Ambassador also said that with a young population the north east region can export labour into the South East Asian countries.

Tien also pointed out that like the Indian government’s Act East Police, even Taiwan has the Southbound Policy to enhance cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and 18 countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australasia.

The Ambassador informed that Taiwan had opened up Education Centres in various universities in India to enhance interaction and understanding of the cultures of India and Taiwan.

Tien also suggested opening one such centre in Meghalaya. He also said that the Taiwan government can also cooperate to promote Meghalaya as a tourist destination for the people of that country.

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