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Building Indian's Econmic

Expressway to ASEAN

Strengtheing connectivity between the North-East and ASEAN via trade, culture, people to people

contact and infrastructure..





A climate of mutual trust and confidence; respect for each other’s sensitivities and concerns; and, peace and stability in our region are essential for us to realize the enormous potential in our relations”

Indo-Bangla Submit


Buses & Interpreters for the Myanmar Leg of Tour

Indian's Act East Policy

India's Act East Policy focusses on the extended neighbourhood in the Asia-Pacific region. The policy which was originally conceived as an economic initiative, has gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions including establishment of institutional mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation. India has upgraded its relations to strategic partnership with Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, Singapore and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and forged close ties with all countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Further, apart from ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS), India has also been actively engaged in regional fora such as Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). Act East Policy has placed emphasis on India-ASEAN cooperation in our domestic agenda on infrastructure, manufacturing, trade, skills, urban renewal, smart cities, Make in India and other initiatives. Connectivity projects, cooperation in space, S&T and people-to-people exchanges could become a springboard for regional integration and prosperity.

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Act East Policy Affairs (AEPA)

The North Eastern Region of India had been suffering an unfortunate geographical isolation and perceived psychological alienation from the rest of the country as a consequence of partition and the irrational drawing of the Radcliffe Line, when thanks to the path-breaking vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji the decades old Look East Policy was metamorphosed into the more proactive Act East Policy in 2014 – thereby providing the region with a unique opportunity to reinvent itself as the hub of the country’s emerging relations with her eastern neighbours. In this regard, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has not only designated ‘Act East’ Policy as a key component of his Government’s Foreign Policy, but also explicitly mentioned that North-East India would play an important role in that ‘Act East’ Policy.
The Department of Act East Policy Affairs (AEPA) of the State Government has been set up in 2017 by an Executive Order in the form of a Notification of the Administrative Reforms & Training Department [vide No. AR 94/ 2016/ Pt-1/ 2 Dated Dispur, the 22nd May, 2017]; with the avowed intention of formulating, implementing and monitoring the policies of the State Government concerning the neighbouring and other foreign countries so as to reap the benefits of the implementation of the Act East Policy by the Central Government.

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The vision is to move away from the domestic thinking of North East India as the perpetual periphery of the country to that of a regional focal point of integration of India with countries of South and South East Asia. The paradigm shift envisaged is the placing of the North Eastern Region at the centre-stage of the country’s planned rendezvous with the emerging giants of the ASEAN bloc. The Government of Assam feels that that requires the recalibration of foreign policy to develop the North East as a growth centre and a staging platform for the Act East Policy. This necessitates the adoption of a multi-ministerial approach and the active involvement of the State Governments of the region


1. Seamless Connectivity with ASEAN and BBIN countries

2. Economic Integrationy with ASEAN and BBIN countries

3. Socio–Cultural Exchange with ASEAN and BBIN countries

4. Free Movement of People with ASEAN and BBIN countries

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Before independence the North Eastern Region of India used to have multi-modal transportation networks (i.e. roadways, railways and riverine waterways) through the territories which are now Bangladesh and Myanmar to several ports [e.g. Chittagong, Sittwe and Yangon (then Rangoon)] as well as to what is now termed as Mainland India. Thanks to the enterprise of the British colonialists, trade from the region used to flourish; and in fact, tea and petroleum used to reach the Chittagong and Kolkata (then Calcutta) ports through the Brahmaputra-Padma-Meghna riverine waterway, as well as through railway lines passing through present-day Bangladesh. The then undivided Assam therefore used to be one of the richer provinces of the country, and had a per-capita income higher than the national average upto 1950.

With the onset of freedom and the simultaneous partition exercise, along with the creation of Burma (Myanmar) as a separate country a decade prior to that; the age-old trade routes and transportation linkages of the region were suddenly snapped rendering it land-locked.


Act East Policy Affairs (AEPA) Department shall be to deal with the following objective-wise subjects

Development of NH 153 (Stillwell Road)

Re-opening of the Stillwell Road to link NER to Kunming, the capital City of Yunan Province of China, through Myanmar will greatly boost economy and trade activities from the region to those South East Asian countries. NH-153 forms part of this famous Stillwell Road in NER.(from Lekhapani to Jairampur- 23.00 km) & improvement of the stretch to 2 lane with Paved shoulder (10m Carriageway) has already been completed under SARDP-NE.

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Development of ASEAN Highway

The road connection to South East Asian countries is also available along ASEAN Highway network that can be accessed from the existing NH-39 & NH-36 of Assam through DIMAPUR –KOHIMA-IMPHAL to reach Myanmar at the Border town of Moreh. This route assumes lot of significance as it has been envisaged to connect Thailand, Laos, Vietnam Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia along the same highway network.

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Connectivity to Bhutan-2019

The NH 152 from Assam has a direct link to the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan. The NH 152 (38 km) has been developed as a two-lane highway with Paved shoulder under SARDP-NE (Phase-A). Therefore, there is ample scope of establishing good road connectivity from Bhutan and beyond. Recently two new National Highways viz NH No.127(C) & NH No.127(D) has been declared which will connect East West Corridor with Bhutan.

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News / Event

Indo-Bangla meet 22-23 Oct 2019

Dispur, Oct 22

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal called for joint efforts to boost growth potential of India and Bangladesh through expeditious implementation of the agreements inked for reviving the multi-model communication network, which existed through rail, road and waterways in the past. Sonowal made this call while inaugurating the two-day India-Bangladesh Stakeholders’ Meet that began in Guwahati today.

Sampark Jatra 26th June – 5th July 2019

Bus Tour to Bangladesh & Myanmar

A bus tour of 15 Hon’ble Members of Assam Legislative Assembly, 13 IAS and ACS Officers and 2 other officers to Bangladesh and Myanmar w.e.f. 26th June, to 5th July, 2019. The delegation was led by the Hon’ble Minister, Act East Policy Affairs Department.  The objectivesthe Bus tour “SamparkYatra” were to sensitize the decision makers of the locational advantage of these countries to the State of Assam and the larger North Eastern Region,

Visit of (MIBC)-2019 6 Nov 2019

Visit of Delegation of Malaysia-India Business Council (MIBC)

An MIBC delegation along with Invest India officials visited Assam in 6th November 2019. In this regard, the delegation had meetings with officers of the Act East Policy Affairs and Industries & Commerce Departments of the Government of Assam, besides visiting the offices of Assam Skill Development Mission and Guwahati Smart City Mission. They also signed anMoU with the Industries & Commerce Department.

Joint Committee meet 23-24 April 2019

2nd Meeting of Indo-Bangladesh Joint Committee on Border Haats

The 2nd meeting of the Indo – Bangladesh Joint Committee on Border Haats was held in Sylhet (Bangladesh) on 23rd & 24th April 2019. It may be noted that Border Haats are rural market places in an enclosed area on the border of Bangladesh, with half of that area in each country, and accessible by separate entrance gates to citizens of both countries within a radial distance of 5 Kms from the Border Haat concerned.

Travel & Tourism Fair 2019 18-20 April 2019

9th Bangladesh Travel & Tourism Fair 2019 in Dhaka

Act East Policy Affairs Department participated in the 9th Bangladesh Travel & Tourism Fair 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, w.e.f. 18th to 20th April 2019. The thrust was to open up the Health Care and Higher Education Sectors of Assam to the prospective patients and students respectively from Bangladesh. In the light of this, a number of private health-care institutions and private higher educational institutions attended the Fair under the aegis of the Department.

Ambassadors’ Meet 2019

Ambassadors’ Meet at Guwahati

Act East Policy Affairs Department had organized a round table conference of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam with Ambassadors, High Commissioners of ASEAN and BBN countries, and their representatives. The meeting was attended by 4 Ambassadors, 2 High Commissioners, 1 Deputy Chief d’ Mission, and 1 Deputy High Commissioner of 8 ASEAN countries; besides the Asst High Commissioner of Bangladesh and the Consul General of Bhutan in Guwahati. The conference discussed ways and means to develop business and cultural relations of Assam and North East India with the ASEAN and BBN countries, and actionable points were documented as a result of the discussions.

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