Monday, 30th October 2017

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Traders rue Abe visit cancellation

Big blow to Northeast commerce, say experts

  • Published 14.12.19, 3:21 AM
  • Updated 14.12.19, 3:21 AM
  • a min read
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Preparation on for the summit in Guwahati Picture by UB Photos

The cancellation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Northeast is a huge loss for the region’s trade and commerce sector, industry experts said on Friday.

This is also the first time a Prime Minister of a foreign country was about visit the Northeast. Sources said the visit was cancelled owing to the ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which led to the death of three agitators in the city.

Assam had made elaborate preparations for the past few weeks to beautify the city’s important stretches on a war footing to host the summit from December 15 to December 17 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to meet his Japanese counterpart. The decked-up places wear a deserted look following massive agitation.

Industry captains from other parts of the country had planned to attend the summit.

“This is indeed a huge loss for us. The image of the region as an investment destination has taken a massive beating,” Abhijit Barooah, owner of Premier Cryogenics Limited, told The Telegraph.

The state government put up a lot of efforts to project Assam as an investment hub, he added. “Now it will be very difficult for an investor to come here and invest his money to start a business,” Barua added.

Sandeep Khaitan, treasurer of the Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region, said: “It is a huge opportunity lost.”

Japan already invested in many projects, including water supply and road connectivity, across the region under the Japan International Cooperation Agency, while many more investments were in the pipeline.

The Assam government was also in talks with the Japan External Trade Organisation to set up an industrial hub of 150 companies at Nagarbera in Kamrup district.

“With reference to the proposed visit of Japanese PM Abe Shinzo to India, both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future,” ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted on Friday morning.