Jitendra Singh reviews business, trade situation in NE; says potential of NE unexplored

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New Delhi, February 14: While addressing an Investors' meet organized by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) on Saturday, Union Minister of State of the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr.Jitendra Singh said that the North east is unknwon to the world because it has not explored its business potential.

The Minister said that Northeast has unexplored business potential which is incredible, amazing and yet not fully known to the rest of the world. The conference discussed prospects of business and trade in Northeastern region.

Singh asserted that it was only after he took over the charge of DoNER Ministry over 90 days ago and started looking at Northeast from a closer and different perspective that he realized that the region was abundantly endowed in natural resources and enjoys multiple advantages for mineral and forest wealth as well as fertile land.

In this regard, he also referred to government’s initiative to improve air-connectivity, communication facilities and development of hydro-power projects in order to supplement business initiatives by potential entrepreneurs.

At the same time, he said, creation of business-friendly environment would also inspire local youth from the region to take to private entrepreneurship which would help them both in serving their region as well as in finding employment for themselves.

Furthermore, because of its proximity to world's rapidly growing markets of Bangladesh and Southeast Asia, it can provide for India a gateway through land route to new markets on the east, he added. He observed, to consolidate Indian market outside the Indian borders on the East, it was imperative to develop market potential in the Northeast.

Singh said that traditionally Northeast has been known for plantation of tea, but what is lesser known to rest of the country is that it could offer plantation and export of a wide range of crops including oil palm, etc.

It is appalling that huge quantity of fruit and horticulture products like pineapples, kiwis, oranges, apples, mushrooms, etc. go waste because of lack of proper storage and transport facilities and therefore, if these are technically and methodically handled, Northeast can become a major source of export of fresh fruit and fresh fruit products to the rest of the country and the world, he added.

Singh emphasized on the point that like Kashmir, Northeast offers phenomenal and varied tourism opportunities including river sports, adventure and wildlife tourism, which are waiting to be explored to the fullest extent through an approach guided by vision and professional focus.

Once this objective is achieved, Northeast will develop not only as a hub of business and revenue generation, but will also offer enormous opportunities of employment to local youth who are otherwise moving out to different parts of country for livelihood, he added.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus to bring Northeast at par with rest of the country, Singh called upon the business community to come forward to invest in the region and assured them of government’s resolve to provide every kind of help and cooperation to create a business friendly environment in each of the eight States.

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