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ICC hosts NE business summit

Posted on Jan 10, 10:45AM | IBNS

The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in association with the Indian Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Wednesday hosted the 8th North East Business Summit, here.

Present on the occasion were Union Minister, Ministry of DoNER Paban Singh Ghatowar along with the Secretary, DoNER, A.S. Lamba and other dignitaries.

Ghatowar said, "Rapid development of North Eastern Region is among the foremost priorities of the Central Government."

"The NER States are Special Category States which get liberal central funding for 90:10 pattern and non exempted Central Ministries / Department are mandated to allocate 10 percent of their Plan funds for development of NER."

"Top priority should be accorded to expedious completion of ongoing projects especially in roads, rail, telecommunications and power sector. The Ministry of DoNER is also continuing discussions with Ministry of Power for holistic generation, transmission and distribution plan for power projects in the region," said Ghatowar.

ICC President Rajiv Mundhra, said, "Connectivity, Empowerment and Sustainable Development can well typify the growth agenda of the North-East Indian states, which exhibit tremendous untapped potential by virtue of its natural resource base and strategic location as the Gateway to the Southeast Asian, South Asian and East Asian nations."

He added, "NER shares direct land connectivity with China, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. However, the pace of infrastructural development in the NER has mostly been below the mark till date."

"The 8th North East Business Summit aims at chalking out a roadmap for enabling a sustainable growth process for the NER. We feel that with an all round development of local resources, investor friendly governance and seamless economic integration with the mainland, NER can emerge as an International Trade Hub", said Mundhra.

Nepal Minister of Industry, Anil Kumar Jha said, "Nepal encourages foreign investment and already have a good policy framework to encourage investment. Improvement in the FDI approval process has been recognized by the development partners."

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He said, "We are creating SEZs to further export-friendly investments in the country. Nepal shares opportunities and challenges with the Noth - Eastern states of India and also with Bangladesh and Myanmar."

"We can mutually benefit from each other's resource potentials and technological advancements", Jha added.

"Investors can focus on Agriculture, Agri processing, Minerals, Power and Tourism in Nagaland. The Nagaland government will also assure assistance on PPP mode", said Mr. Nikhil Kumar, Hon'ble Governor of Nagaland.

Chief Minister of Sagaing Region of Myanmar, U Tha Aye talked about the importance of strengthening India-Myanmar relations, and how the North-East can benefit from a stronger bilateral partnership.

Myanmar is truly India's Gateway to the larger ASEAN market because of its location, and hence both the countries must engage with each other effectively for reaping mutual benefits, he stressed.

The Chief Minister also talked about the synergies between the North-East and the Sagaing Region, and said more and more people-to-people contacts, cultural exchanges etc., would pave the way for enhanced trade between the two neighbours.

Secretary, DoNER, A.S. Lamba highlighted the various initiatives that the Ministry is undertaking for taking the North-East to a higher growth trajectory.

He said that the Private sector must engage more strongly with the Govt., if the socioeconomic fabric of the North-East has to be changed for the better, and urged the Indian Chamber of Commerce to continue with its efforts to project the North-East as a favourable investment destination to domestic and international Business Captains.

The 2-day Summit is being attended by the participation of Ministers, top government officials and Corporate leaders from India and abroad; and will chart out the future roadmap for the North-East's progress.