The North East is poised to make giant strides, and with the Government of India’s strong emphasis on ‘Act East Policy’, the region would be at the forefront. That was the essence of the Make in North East, a summit organised by CII in line with the Central Government’s Make in India drive. It was organized with support from Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP).
According to them, the land-locked North East, which comprises eight states, including Sikkim, is the potential gateway to South East Asia. As far as trade and commerce is concerned, the region can emerge as a major force to reckon.
“We want to bring the North East, a conglomeration of frontier states, closer to other parts of the country,” said Dr Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya. Since the region’s geo-political importance is immense, its development is of paramount necessity, Sangma added.
According to him, not only is the State a paradise unexplored for tourists, it has huge potential in the infrastructure and health sectors as well. “The Meghalaya government has already taken a number of initiatives to create conducive environment for business,” Sangma said.
Assam’s Industry Minister Chandramohan Patowary, made the newly elected BJP Government’s aim clear saying its main priority is to attract investments in a big way.
Assam is the gateway to South East and the Government is ready with land parcels to attract investments, he said. “Assam is ready with East of Doing business mechanism to facilitate and help entrepreneurs and investors. Assam is a land of prosperity and hope,” Patowary added.
Top executives from Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) Group, Godrej Group, India Hotel Corporation Ltd, IndusInd Bank, TCS, etc,. shared their positive experiences in doing business in the North East and urged investors to take close look at the North East as a destination. Ajal Lalvani from the HUL announced the Group’s decision to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the region.
CII has been in North East since 2002 to facilitate and help industries and businesses in the region, said Mr Sandipan Chakravortty, Chairman, CII North East Council. North East has abundant natural resources, and more than 70% of the people from the region are English speaking, he explained.
“About 96% of the states share international borders with four countries. We have worked towards improving connectivity for the region, not only within the country but the entire world. The region has huge potential in hydroelectricity, tourism, IT & ICT and healthcare sectors,” Chakravortty said.
A M Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) said, “The Ministry of DoNER is a dedicated Ministry for the North East and is geared up to facilitate investment and provide all-round support to industries. We are heavily focusing on skilling and capacity building and are inviting private institutions for this. We have a North East BPO scheme, and will provide venture capital fund for budding entrepreneurs in the region. In addition, we are also focusing on horticulture and organic produce. DoNER is also working towards ease of doing business from within the country but across the borders as well.”
Romesh Sobti, Managing Director & CEO, IndusInd Bank said, “We are pleased to be associated with North East India Business & Cultural Integration Initiative. The North East is a very promising landscape for growing business and opportunities and the Bank sees an enormous potential for the growth of this region. The Bank’s participation further aims at providing a positive and accessible business environment for our common goals.”
State Governments of the North East Region gave presentations on the possible business avenues in the region.Representatives of corporate houses such as IL&FS, Shapoorji Pallonji and Tata Trust also spoke about the various business avenues in the region.