North East India Festival in Bangkok from July 29
Guwahati: In a bid to take forward the Act East policy, the second edition of the three-day North East India Festival, 2022 will be held in the Thailand capital Bangkok from July 29.
The festival marks 75 years of India's diplomatic relationship with Thailand and aims to promote trade, tourism, cultural exchange and people-to-people meet between the two countries, North East India Festival's Chief Organiser Shyamkanu Mahanta said at a press conference here on Saturday.
"North East is going to Thailand to explore the shared history and to promote trade, business and people to people exchange," he said.
The inaugural session of the festival, to be hosted by the Indian embassy in Thailand, will be held on July 29 at the Centara Grand Hotel in Bangkok.
The first edition of the festival, organised by the socio-cultural Trust Trend MMS, was held in 2019.
A few months later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Bangkok and said that the focus has been to promote 'India's North East as a part of India's Act East Policy and Thailand's Act West Policy'.
The prime minister said that this was the background against which North East India festival was organized for the first time outside India and the initiative has helped in better understanding about India's North East, Mahanta said.
'The prime minister's mention of the festival was a certificate for us and we decided to hold the next edition in 2020. We had made all the preparations but it was delayed due to the pandemic.
'Finally, we are organising it this year to mark India's 75 years of independence and also the diplomatic relationship between the two countries', Mahanta said.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs R K Ranjan, Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Nagaland Conrad Sangma and Neiphu Rio, Assam's Handloom minister U G Brahma, Arunachal Pradesh's Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Mizoram's Tourism minister Pu Robert Romawia Royte, Tripura's former Maharaja Pradyot Bikram Manikya Debbarma, senior bureaucrats and industrialists of both the countries are scheduled to be present at the inaugural session.
The focus of the festival will be on highlighting the North East's Tai culture and a large delegation representing the Tai Ahoms and Tai Khamti community will present their history, heritage and culture, he said.
The programme for July 30 and 3 will showcase cultural programmes by artistes from all the seven Northeastern states, fashion shows, art exhibitions, display of cuisines and musical performances by leading musical bands and singers of the region, Mahanta said.
The NE state governments will put up an exhibition where MSME entrepreneurs will showcase products from the region with special focus on tea, crafts, handloom, agri-horti products, tourism potential among others.
A series of Business to Business (B2B) meets have been scheduled with major tour operators of Thailand interacting with the tourism departments and operators in the region, Mahanta said.
A buyer-sellers interaction will be organised for the sellers of the region and Thai buyers with an aim to promote a market for products of the North East.
All state governments of the region, business community and the Indian Embassy in Thailand have helped in creating a large platform to create new vistas of opportunity in trade and tourism, Mahanta added.