Guwahati, Dec 12 (IANS) After travelling for over 8,000 km across nine countries, the Asean-India Car Rally 2012 will enter Assam Dec 16, Assam Industry Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said here Wednesday.
Bordoloi added that Union Minister for Commerce Anand Sharma would also arrive in Assam to participate in the Asean-India Trade Conclave in Guwahati Dec 17, after the flagging-in ceremony of the rally.
Jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and all Asean nations, the rally is expected to demonstrate the close civilisation links between member countries, create public awareness, promote connectivity and enhance trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people connectivity.
Ambassadors of Asean countries, foreign ministers, trade representatives and other foreign delegates are also expected to participate in the trade conclave, Bordoloi said.
Bordoloi added that the initiative would open up new vistas of business, particularly between the Asean nations and the northeastern states of India.
"When the first Indo-Asean car rally was flagged off from Guwahati in 2005 that culminated in Indonesia, India's trade volume with Asean countries was only $21 billion. The trade volume has since increased to $52 billion in 2010-2011," Bordoloi said.
The rally, in which 33 vehicles are participating, was flagged-off at the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta Nov 24.
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had participated in the flagging-off ceremony of the Rally at Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam Dec 7.
The Assam government had earlier sanctioned Rs.3.94 crore for the rally, including sprucing up the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati where the rally will culminate. Colourful cultural programmes, including daredevils show, paratroopers show and other such shows, will be held on the occasion.