Imphal, November 16, 2017 (DIPR): Textiles, Commerce and Industries, Works, Power, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Administrative Reforms and Information and Public Relations, Minister    Thongam Biswajit Singh has invited investors from across the country to visit and invest in the State saying that Manipur will be the gateway of India to South East Asia. He said Manipur will have good opportunities for investment in the various industries because railway connectivity will come to Imphal City by 2019 and with the Trans Asian highways expected to connect the ASEAN countries.

The Minister was speaking at the 12th North East Business Summit “Transforming North East: The Engine for India’s Growth” at the The Lalit, New Delhi today.

He said the initiative of the Look East Policy to Act East Policy will connect the entire North East States of India to South East Asian Countries to boost the economy and relationships in the region.

Further encouraging investors to invest in the State, the Minister said the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector is growing rapidly in the State under the State Industrial policy “A New Industrial & Investment Policy of Manipur 2017” which has been finalised to encourage investors to establish industries in the State.

He said that the State has the availability of organic Agro-horti raw materials, medicinal herbal aromatic plants (more than 400 varieties of medicinal plants identified), varieties of bamboos, potential for growing coffee, tea and rubber, high qualities of spices and many natural resources like chromites, limestone, natural gas and crude oil.

The thrust areas of industrial activities in the State would be food-based Agro-Horti industries, Medicinal and Herbal Aromatic Plants industries, Bamboo & Bamboo Products Processing industries, Coffee, Tea and Rubber plantations, Spices Processing and Mineral based Industries, he continued.

Minister Biswajit continued, recently the state has developed four Industrial Estates in Imphal West, Imphal East, Toubal and Bishnupur district and another five in other districts are also in the pipeline.

He said Manipur has a huge potential in handloom, handicraft and textile industries, and further added that various kinds of artistic textile products are also available in the State. He said Manipur has the highest number of weavers in India and has 2.04 lakh weavers and 1.9 loom possessions. It has today become a tradition in the State.

Minister Biswajit also said “Besides, to promote artisans and craftsman and to create more employment and their economy, with the initiative of the Honourable Governor of Manipur, we have formed a mission called MEETAC which means Mission on Economic Empowerment of Traditional Artisan and Craftsman.”

He continued people of Manipur are specialised in hospitality and tourism sectors also and added the State has many English speaking youth.

Stressing that more than 2000 patients came for medical tourism from Myanmar and other neighbouring countries to Manipur last year, he said the State can also initiate medical tourism.

The Minister also said that Manipur has huge potential in sports and that nine football players from North East India represented India in the recently concluded U-17 Football World Cup. He said of the nine from the North East, eight were from Manipur alone.

Stressing further that Manipur has the potential for sports tourism, the Minister cited that recently MC Mary Kom from the State had recently won Asian Gold in Boxing while L.Sarita Devi had got bronze medal. The Minister also said that acknowledging the sports talents and potential of the State, the Centre has initiated to establish a Sports University in the State.

Manipur also has a huge potential in the tourism sector, he said citing the scenic natural beauty of the State, uniqueness of the Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao, etc.

He further invited the investors attending the event to visit and enjoy the Manipur Sangai Festival and the Business Development Summit which will begin on November 21.

The event was also attended by Hon’ble Governor of Mizoram, Lt.Gen. Nirbhay Sharma, Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region, Dr.Jitendra Singh, DoNER Secretary    Naveen Verma, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (East) Ms.Preeti Saran, Principal Scientific Advisor of the GOI, Dr. R Chidambaram, ICC North East Regional Committee and chairman Tea Board    PK Bezboruah, Additional Chief Secretary Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Assam   Ravi Capoor, IRS Secretary IWAI    Shashi Bhushan Shukla, Indian Chamber of Commerce President   Shashwat Goenka, Indian Chamber of Commerce Director General Dr.Rajeev Singh among others.

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