Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday flagged off the Indo-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Rally from a hotel in Guwahati and said that the rally is a first step towards boosting trade and commerce between the neighbouring country and India's northeast region.Sonowal said that the trilateral highway connecting India-Myanmar-Thailand would bring a lot of economic benefits to the state and also the northeastern region of India."This car rally is part of the government's Act East policy that is going to bring huge transformation to the whole northeastern region," Sonowal said.The Assam Chief Minister said that gestures like car rallies would serve as a facilitator in improving the relationship with neighbouring countries and break barriers of national borders in bringing the people of these southeast Asian countries closer."By increasing people to people contact, an environment of brotherhood and unity can be achieved between different countries.
Endeavours like car rallies can be a good platform for international social exchanges," he said adding that youth of the stakeholder nations would be encouraged to mingle among themselves that would result in new age progressive societies."The geographical disadvantage of the state and the region would be turned into an advantage as the trilateral highway would facilitate massive economic activities with the neighbouring countries and focus would be shifted from mainland to the northeastern part of the country in view of opening this gateway to South East Asia," Sonowal said.The rally will cover a distance of 5,722 kms along the Indo-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway with about 80 participants from all the three countries, in 20 Indian made vehicles on a journey emanating from New Delhi and concluding at Bangkok spanning a period of 19 days. The rally seeks to sensitize people about the future possibility of travelling from India to Thailand through Myanmar by an all-weather road.Sonowal further said that the state government aims to highlight Brahmaputra river at the global level in line with the 'Namami Gange Project' of the Union government and tourism potential of the river would be fully utilised so that it can bring economic benefits to people of the state.