Imphal: Observing that the North East Region has the diverse potential to propel ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by being the engines of growth, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Dr RK Ranjan exuded confidence that the business community of Manipur and other North East States look forward to enhancing partnerships in sectors like Tourism, Hospitality, Healthcare and Handloom etc., immensely.
Taking part in the B20 Conference held at City Convention Centre here on Friday, Dr RK Ranjan stated that the business community of North East and Manipur, in particular, is eager to showcase its business potential.
He stated that Manipuris have organically developed, made a mark and created a brand value for themselves, in the hospitality and care-giving sector. These sectors need to be pushed for international partnerships now, to enable our youth to reap their full potential, he averred.
He asserted that the North East has a youth population agile in skilling and experienced in communicating fluently in English with clients without any hassle, therefore this must be leveraged by the business community in employing these skilled individuals across sectors.
He expressed optimism that the connectivity’s projects in the North East will boost the tourism and people to people contact in the region. International partnerships will help our youth immensely, to realize their full potential, he added.
The Union Minister conveyed that businesses in the North East particularly Manipur are ready to grab the opportunity of international partnerships. He expressed belief that the Ministry of External Affairs can play a role in helping them achieve that.
He stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to Proactive Government Policy and the North East is dear to his heart. No other Prime Minister in this country has been committed like him, in his vision to take governance and service delivery to the last mile and person, he remarked.
Dr RK Ranjan stated that it was the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desire that Ministers from his Government should regularly visit the North East, to know and understand their issues, ensure delivery of Government services in the region.
The North East Region of India is blessed with scenic natural beauty, rich biodiversity, rare wild life, and warm welcoming people. The region offers unforgettable visits for tourists interested in wild life, and ethnic tourism along with mountaineering, trekking and adventure tourism, he stated.
He recollected that Imphal has its unique history with the Ningthouja dynasty having ruled the State for about 2000 years without changing its capital as Imphal.
He also reminded that Imphal is the birth place of the world famous Polo and the Battle of Imphal is the turning point of the Second World War.
The Union Minister maintained that Imphal has a population with huge skills advantage which is artistic and creative by nature and this has found expression in their handloom and handicraft products, which are world-famous for their designs, ingenuity, colorfulness and usefulness.
One of the special features of the industry is that women are in the majority of loin loom weaving (also known as Laichamphi). On the other hand, the tribes of Andro, Thongjao, and Nungbi have mastered the skill of pottery over the centuries and that too without the use of a potters’ wheel, he conveyed.
The Union Minister went on to state that the sacred Brahmaputra river and its tributaries promote the cultivation of cash crops, medicinal herbs and horticultural products including wide variety of exotic fruits, flowers, high value spices, and numerous species of medicinal and aromatic plants as well as exotic fishes offers huge opportunity for Hospitality, Tourism and Medical Value Travel.
The availability of exportable resources coupled with the locational advantage, offers the opportunity of medical tourism through Ayurvedic therapies and traditional medical treatments – transforming North East India into a successful international, he added.
He disclosed that the TRIFED scheme under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has initiated marketing & logistics intervention for enhancing tribal entrepreneurship in the region, to increase the income/generate livelihood for the tribal communities.
The ‘One District, One Product’ (ODOP) Scheme is also helping the districts in NE to reach their full potential and create employment opportunities, especially in rural areas, he added.
He stated that the Ministry of External Affairs via its missions and posts is working closely with DPIIT to acquire these TRIFED & ODOP products for gifting purposes and provide opportunities in remote areas across India.
The objective is to increase the sale of the North Eastern products to four fold and contribute effectively to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and the Vocal for Local, Buy Tribal initiative, he added.