Ever since the BJP Government has come into power in Assam, it has pressed the acceleration pedal in order to boost trade and commerce in the region. Starting from various investors summits to relaxation of trade restrictions, it has done all to help the state’s economy grow. With Advantage Assam , the boost to be received to trade is unimaginable.
Advantage Assam is being considered as the biggest developmental initiative that Assam Government took up in years. On 3rd and 4th February 2018, “Advantage Assam-The Global Investors’ Summit” was organized in Guwahati, Assam. The Summit aimed at highlighting the state’s geostrategic advantages offered to investors by Assam. The event also focused on showcasing the manufacturing prowess and the opportunities offered by the state in terms of export-oriented manufacturing and services to growing economies viz. ASEAN and BBN countries.
The focus sectors chosen for this programme include pharmaceuticals and medical devices, plastics and petrochemicals, ITs and ITES, Tourism, hospitality and wellness, power, agriculture and food processing, inland water transport, civil aviation, petroleum and natural gas, handloom textiles and handicrafts, bamboo and heavy industries.
The first day of Advantage Assam Summit saw about 176 Memorandum of Understanding being signed with 160 companies. The total amount that cashed in was a sprawling Cr 64,386 INR. The Summit was attended by delegates and about 4000 companies from around the globe and from different parts of India. The Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi, who also graced the event with his presence, reflected upon how hopeful he is about the initiative.
With global tycoons such as Reliance, Tata, Spicejet etc, Assam is becoming hopeful that it will see the face of proper development soon. But the anxiety looms large. It is not the first time that the government has taken such a massive project. Maybe not in the same scale, but there had been initiatives that aimed to boost the aforementioned sectors. Earlier, each initiative focused on one particular sector or two-three sectors combined. The contributions that came in weren’t that much from around the world. This is the first time that all of the sectors have been clubbed together and such a huge amount of revenue is being generated. Moreover, this is by far the first-ever global investors’ summit.
As reported by NDTV, Modi in his speech said, “We created the ‘Act East’ policy and the northeast is at the heart of it. It requires increased people-to-people contacts, particularly with ASEAN. The name Advantage Assam is not a statement but it’s a holistic vision.”
His sentiments were echoed even by Bhutan’s PM Tshering Tobgay who said, “PM Modi has given special attention to Assam. As Assam’s immediate neighbour, we are excited since we will also grow. Advantage Assam means Advantage Bhutan.”
Now speculations are that, this might be another scheme of the BJP government to garner support in the upcoming elections from the three North_eastern States and Assam will be one of them in which BJP will be running for the polls. Moreover, some people are calling this move to be suctioning the public sectors of Assam for sale to private companies.
But if this initiative is genuine then without any doubt, it will provide support to the dwindling job market in the state. Job opportunities would increase by two-folds, judging by the huge amount of investment. Assam Tourism has been steadily gaining popularity. Once this initiative gets started, the boost so received will make Assam globally popular at the larger scale. And it is not just Assam, but the neighbouring states as well sharing the boon.
We can only hope that this works out well for everyone instead of only warming up the pockets of a selected few.