The Look East Policy

With greater emphasis on the Look – East Policy vigorously pursued by the Government, both at the state and central level Assam has assumed greater significance because it is the most prominent state in the North – East which will be the passage to the South - East Asian Countries through the opening of the Stilwel Road.

In 1992, our then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao launched the "Look East Policy" with the objective of establishing closer economic integration with the Southeast Asian states. It was a significant shift in India's policy prioritization because hitherto India did not have any concrete strategy to create an economic hub in its North Eastern Region by exploring the trade and commerce potential with its ASEAN neighbors.

Since then the government - especially the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region - DoNER - has made some fast track initiatives to reinvent NER economy, which depends heavily on the central funding.
This policy holds the potential to make NER the commercial corridor of India linking the ASEAN nations enabling its people to harvest economic well-being through trade, transit and tourism. And this has tremendously benefited Assam's progress towards being one of India's better developed states.

13 sectors have been identified for promoting trade and investment. These sectors are technology, energy, transportation, communication, tourism, fisheries, poverty alleviation, agriculture, cultural cooperation, counter-terrorism and transnational crimes, environment and disaster management, public health and people-to-people contact. Things are definitely happening in a faster pace. For example redefining of Asian Highways - AH-1 AH-2 and AH-4 to provide India easier road connectivity with the neighboring countries taking up Myanmar-India Kaladan multi model project which including construction of road from Kalewa (Myanmar) to Saiha (Mizoram), also restoring Stilwell road connecting Arunachal Pradesh with Myanmar.