North East India Festival in Bangkok to promote trade, tourism and culture

To advance Act East policy, the second edition of the three-day North East India Festival 2022 will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, starting July 29.

The festival marks 75 years of diplomatic ties between India and Thailand and aims to promote trade, tourism, cultural exchanges and people-to-people encounters between the two countries, North East India Festival chief organizer Shyamkanu Mahanta said at a news conference here on Saturday .

“North East will travel to Thailand to explore the common history and promote trade, business and people-to-people exchanges,” he said.

The festival’s opening session, hosted by the Embassy of India in Thailand, will be held on July 29 at Bangkok’s Centara Grand Hotel.

The first edition of the festival organized by the socio-cultural Trust Trend MMS took place in 2019.

A few months later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bangkok and said the focus was on promoting “India’s Northeast as part of India’s Act East Policy and Thailand’s Act West Policy.”

The Prime Minister said that this is the background against which the North East India Festival was organized for the first time outside of India and the initiative has helped to better understand north-east India, Mahanta said.

“The Prime Minister’s mention of the festival was a confirmation for us and we decided to host the next edition in 2020. We had made all the preparations, but due to the pandemic, the festival was delayed.

“Finally, this year we are organizing it to honor India’s 75 years of independence and also the diplomatic ties between the two countries,” Mahanta said.

Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs RK Ranjan, Prime Ministers of Meghalaya and Nagaland Conrad Sangma and Neiphu Rio, Assam’s Handloom Minister UG Brahma, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Prime Minister Chowna Mein, Mizoram’s Tourism Minister Pu Robert Romawia Royte, Tripura’s former Maharaja Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, senior bureaucrats and industrialists from both countries are expected to attend the opening session.

The focus of the festival will be to highlight the Tai culture of the Northeast, and a large delegation representing the Tai Ahoms and the Tai Khamti community will present their history, heritage and culture, he said.

The July 30-3 program will feature cultural programming from artists from all seven Northeastern states, fashion shows, art exhibits, kitchens and musical performances from the region’s leading music bands and singers, Mahanta said.

NE state governments will host an exhibition where MSME entrepreneurs will showcase local products with a particular focus on tea, handicrafts, handlooms, agri-horti products and tourism potential among others.

A series of business-to-business (B2B) meetings are planned with major Thailand tour operators who will interact with tourism departments and operators in the region, Mahanta said.

A buyer-seller interaction will be organized for local sellers and Thai buyers to promote a market for Northeast products.

All of the region’s state governments, the business community and the Embassy of India in Thailand have helped create a great platform to create new prospects for trade and tourism, Mahanta added.

This story was published from a wire agency feed with no changes to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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