GUWAHATI, March 22: Indian Chamber of Commerce, along with support from the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, organised the 1st ever North East buyer-seller meet at NEDFI House, Guwahati on Monday.
In his welcome address, Prabhat Kr Bezbaruah, co-chairman-NER, Indian Chamber of Commerce and chairman, Tea Board of India said that this kind of buyer-seller meet is the most ideal platform to connect the businessmen from different countries. “North East is very rich in biodiversity, agriculture and horticulture products along with tea, tourism and handloom and handicraft is our biggest strength. The Covid pandemic has negatively impacted the world economy but in recent times, Indian economy is recovering very fast. This is the first initiative taken by the Ministry of External Affairs but the foreign trade of North East, along with the neighbouring countries is centuries old. The geo-political interest overshadowed the trade matters but now we should go back to ancient times and redraw the map and facilitate this trend of meeting to create an economy.”
Abdul Matlub Ahmed, chairman, Indo Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IBCCI), stated that India Chamber of Commerce along with IBCCI has done a lot of joint initiatives to take the business relationship of both the countries to a greater level. He said that diplomatic and economic ties between two countries go hand in hand and under the strong leadership of Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, this relation between the two countries is growing very fast. He suggested removing the hurdles in connectivity and suggested a multimodal connectivity involving the roadways, railways and waterways. The Chittagong Port Authority is very much willing to work with the Government of India to allow its port for transport of cargo between the two countries and within India itself and provision for organisation of business melas in Guwahati for one to one interaction and showcase of products.
Phub Tshering, consulate general of the Royal Bhutan Embassy in Guwahati, Assam has said that the Covid pandemic has very badly affected the tourism and hospitality industry in Bhutan and this kind of buyer-seller meet will go a long way in recovering the industries.
Kekhrievor Kevichusa, IPoS, commissioner and secretary, Industries and Commerce, Government of Nagaland who was also present in the inaugural programme said that Nagaland is an agriculture-horticulture based state but now the Government of Nagaland is focussing on promoting the MSMEs also. There is a Special Economic Zone that is coming up in Dimapur and Kevichusa invited investors to invest in the Special Economic zone.
Pabitra Ram Khaund, ACS, secretary, Industries and Commerce, Government of Assam said that the strategic location of Assam with ASEAN countries and NE states provide a perfect opportunity to set up a global platform to connect and link with others for trade relations.
“Act east policy – provide a platform for the development of infra so that trade and exports between North East and ASEAN countries can flourish. The Government of Assam has developed a robust mechanism for Ease of doing Business for hassle free development,” he added.