Thursday, April 18, 2024

EU, Centre to join hands for enhanced connectivity in NE


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SHILLONG, June 1: Aiming to boost smart, green and secure connectivity investments in the Northeastern states, the European Union (EU)-India Global Gateway conference was inaugurated here on Thursday to enhance dialogue and identify priority connectivity needs in the region.
Organised by the Delegation of the European Union to India and Bhutan, the Union Ministry of External Affairs, and the Asian Confluence, the two-day conference brings together public and private stakeholders to enhance connectivity policy dialogue and investments between the EU, India’s eastern and Northeastern states and its immediate neighbours (Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal).
The conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma and Minister of State for External Affairs, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, in the presence of Koen Doens, DG, Directorate General for International Partnerships, European Commission, Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the EU to India and Bhutan and Santosh Jha, Ambassador of India to the EU.
Senior government officials of the Northeastern states, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and stakeholders from the private sector will be participating in the conference.
The initiative will help to map out the existing connectivity projects in the Northeast across three global gateway priorities – digital, climate & energy, transport – with a view to identifying gaps and opportunities for future EU-India cooperation.
The recently held EU and India Trade and Technology Council (TTC) also recognised these as key deliverables.
Addressing the gathering, Koen Doens said, “Global Gateway is part of the positive agenda we are implementing under our partnership with India. We very much welcome the Union Cabinet’s approval of the CITIIS 2.0 programme. We look forward to helping deliver better connectivity in the Northeast, for which this conference can play a significant role in generating new ideas.”
Speaking at the event, Ugo Astuto said, “Through Global Gateway, the EU and India can work together for sustainable and resilient infrastructure. This is also true for the Northeast which has much to gain from enhanced connectivity with the rest of India and the region.”
The insights generated through the discussions will complement the findings of the mapping study to identify the priority investment needs in the region as per five Global Gateway sectors serving as a stepping-stone towards drafting an “EU-India North East Investment Pipeline Roadmap 2025”.
The initial mapping has identified 120 projects across all five sectors of the Global Gateway led by Team Europe and Indian stakeholders, international organisations and partner countries.
To jointly promote a transparent, viable, inclusive, sustainable, comprehensive, and rules-based approach to connectivity, the EU and India signed a connectivity partnership during the leaders’ meeting held in May, 2021.


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