Northeast Investors Roadshow held by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) received interest with over 200 business- to-government (B2G) meetings being organised in a single day. Besides a significant number of investors, the event also saw key policymakers and government officials from North East grace the occasion.
Addressing the First Mumbai Investor Roadshow, Shri Lok Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of DONER, said, “With the investor interest in the region, the North Eastern region has achieved several industrial landmarks. The central and state governments and facilitators such as DoNER have together discussed several investible opportunities with businesses. Our interactions with businesses have revealed several welcoming and proactive experiences around North East.”
He further added, “efforts are being made to invest and develop the entrepreneurial spirit of the Northeastern region. The progress of the trilateral highway between Bangladesh and India will further enhance the prospects of integration. We are receiving significant support and contributions from various stakeholders. Logistics has been given due attention, and sectors such as food processing, IT, and solar energy have been capitalized upon. From the Ministry of DoNER’s perspective, we view these initiatives as proactive steps eagerly embraced by investors.”
Senior government officials from North Eastern states, the Ministry of DoNER, and officials from FICCI (Industry Partner), EY (Knowledge Partner), and Invest India (Investment Facilitation Partner) guided investors through new age avenues. Senior officials from North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation (NEHHDC), North Eastern Council (NEC), North Eastern Development Finance Corporation (NEDFI), and North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC) also provided crucial insights during the Investor Roadshow. The event saw keen participation from leading industry associations, Global Investors and Entrepreneurs.
Present during the roadshow were Shri Lok Ranjan, Secretary, Ministry of DONER and Shri Harpreet Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of DONER, Mr Ranjit Barthakur, Chairman, FICCI North East Advisory Council who deliberated on the abundant trade and investment potential of Northeastern India. Shri Harpreet Singh, welcoming investors to the North East Roadshow in Mumbai, said, “The North Eastern region is a compelling business and industrial destination. Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has referred to it as a growth- engine driver of the country. The region is a gateway to South East Asian markets and even beyond.”
He further added, “We have identified several priority and marquee sectors such as Agriculture, food-processing and allied sectors; Education and Skill Development; Healthcare and medicine; Power generation; Textiles handicrafts and handloom; IT and IT enable services; tourism and hospitality sector. Many states in the North Eastern region have
set up empowered committees on industrial and investment development after the DoNER’s roundtables in the North Eastern state capitals. There is considerable ease of doing business and industrial assistance provided by the central and state governments which should facilitate investors keen to start a business in the region.”
The North East provides immense opportunities for enterprises keen on double-digit organic growth. Some of the top business houses that participated include names such as Dabur, Patanjali, Amul, Parle Agro, Pepsi Co, ITC, Britannia, Hindustan Unilever, Sun Pharmaceuticals, JSW Energy, Indian Oil, Adani Ventures, Mahindra Holidays and many more.
During the media briefing, key government officials and state representatives addressed queries on a wide variety of topics. On the aspect of entrepreneurship, officials explained how start-ups in the Northeast could leverage several programs such as Assam’s Nest, an incubator program to assist start-ups. Among start-up initiatives, the Entrepreneur Development Scheme in Mizoram saw 60% of start-up assistance to women-led businesses found critical mention. Investors and the media were also appraised of successful programs instituted by Arunachal Pradesh (Mission and Investment Park) and Nagaland.
Elaborating on the start-up and business culture, Shri Ranjan added, “The central and state governments realise the potential of start-ups. Agencies like the North East Development Finance Corporation have gained success by handholding start-ups. At the ministry also there are a number of requests for start-ups which we have supported through unique incubation programs. We are also in the stages of a new system which should help start-ups avail required support and assistance from the ministry.”
North East is a strategic gateway to South East Asian economies. Each of the eight states in the North East offers a significant business advantage to investors. Sikkim, known for being the country’s first fully organic state, has also observed a spurt in pharmaceutical businesses. Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura too have seen an uptick in investor interest particularly in the Tourism sector. In states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Nagaland, investment avenues such as power generation, biotechnology, natural resources, and eco-tourism have gained significance in recent years. The North-eastern states recently hosted G20 meetings as well.
The Northeastern region is crucial to India’s economic target of a five trillion-dollar economy. Significant government investments in capacity building have been observed in the region recently. Through special schemes and packages, such as the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) Scheme, Social and Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDF), PM-DevINE scheme and more, clearly, the focus is on building rapid, robust and sustainable development in the region. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, recently referred to the North Eastern region as ‘Ashtalakshmi’ or eight goddesses of wealth.
The North East Global Investors Summit is a flagship campaign instituted by the Ministry of DoNER. As part of the Northeast Global Investor Summit, successful Investor Roundtables have been organised across Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Meghalaya and is scheduled to be organised in other North Eastern states. Similar to Mumbai, the Ministry is expected to organise Investor Roadshows in Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Dhaka (Bangladesh) in the run-up to the lead investment summit in New Delhi later this year.