Friday, June 29, 2007

Sikkim’s tourism potential focussed in Shillong meet

GANGTOK: A high level delegation from Sikkim led by Mr RB Subba, minister for tourism and Mr Somnath Poudyal, minister for agriculture, attended a meeting on investment opportunities in the North-Eastern region held at Shillong on Sunday. Department of North-Eastern Region (DONER), North-Eastern Council (NEC), Indian Chamber of Commerce and Government of Meghalaya jointly organised the meeting. Senior officials from the state’s commerce and industries and food security departments were present at the meeting. The meeting was also attended by a team from Thailand. The Thai delegation comprised government officials, representatives from different trade and investment promotion organisations and private investors in Thailand. Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, Union Minister for DONER deliberated on the historic background of the North-East Region and also highlighted the initiative taken by the Centre for the region’s development. Investment opportunities in food processing, horticulture, floriculture, spices and tourism sectors was discussed in the meeting. The borrowing of Thai expertise for development of these sectors in the North-East region was also discussed. The primary objective of the Thai delegation’s visit was to facilitate private sector investment in the region. Sikkim agriculture minister Mr Somnath Poudyal welcomed the Thai delegation and appreciated the initiatives taken by Union minister for DONER, Mr Aiyar, for organising the meet. He highlighted the investment opportunities in Sikkim and extended invitation to the Thai delegation to visit the state. He also informed them about the International Flower Festival to be held in Gangtok and invited their participation in a big way. Thai minister Mr Jirapact thanked the Government of India for organising the meeting and declared the year 2008 as the Year of Thailand and North East India. He said that a North East Week would be organised in Thailand. The Thai delegation assured marketing of Cymbidium orchid from Sikkim. The meeting was also attended by Meghalaya chief minister Mr DD Lapang, Chief Secretaries of different North-East States, senior Central officials and others.