Assam strides towards flourishing economic and social advancement

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Tezpur: The largest and first ever investment promotion and facilitation initiative by the Government of Assam, ‘Advantage Assam – Global Investors’ Summit, 2018’ will be organized in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on February 3- 4 2018 in Guwahati.
The summit will witness primary focus on sectors such as Agriculture and Food processing, Handloom, Textile and Handicraft, Tourism, Hospitality and Wellness, Plastics and Petrochemicals, Power, Pharmaceutical and Medical devices, Heavy Industries, Inland Water Transport, Port Township and River Front Development, IT & ITeS, Petroleum and Natural gas, and Civil Aviation.
As a prelude to the main event, the seminar in Tezpur on 13th Nov witnessed, ‘Presentations on Investment Opportunities in Tourism, Hospitality & Wellness’ wherein detailed discussions took place on strategies for promoting the tourism sector in Assam as well as innovative ways to attract Tourism into the state. Another talk point of the seminar was strategies for development of Pharmaceuticals & Medical Equipment manufacturing in the State along with an address and presentation on Investment Opportunities in Pharmaceuticals & Medical Equipment.

Assam, one of the seven sister states of the country is turning over a new leaf by moving ahead of its sobriquet, ‘Tea Garden of India’. It aims to rise above the image of underdevelopment and come across conspicuously as a state full of possibilities and tremendous potential for growth across various industrial sectors. The nomenclature ‘Advantage Assam’ is self-explanatory as it suggests its geo-strategic advantage with various South East Asian countries such as Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, which can be major investors in the state’s growing sectors such as Agriculture, River Transport, Petrochemicals and many others.

As a precursor to the main Summit, the Government of Assam is conducting a series of seminars at various locations such as Tezpur, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Guwahati, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore, to showcase the business prospects of the state. The Summit promises to become a major platform for G2B, B2B meetings & investment opportunities in the state.
FICCI is partnering the State Government as Summit Partner, and Ernest and Young, has been engaged as the Knowledge Partner for the Summit.

The Assam Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. was incorporated on the 9th of June 1988 and registered under the Companies Act, 1956. The State Govt. of Assam has since worked ardently towards promoting and setting up the Corporation for growth and development of tourism in Assam. The sub domains of tourism in the state can be grouped under – Wildlife, Nature Tourism, Tea tourism, Eco Tourism, Cultural Tourism, Adventure Tourism and Religious Tourism. The tourist contribution to GDP is around 5.5 percent. India has a growing market in rural tourism. The sub-urban locations as well as the main cities in Assam offer deep insights into the culture, heritage and foundation of the State. Some of the destinations in Assam are masterpieces of architecture and scenic beauty. They have not been marketed as a destination and their exquisiteness remains largely uncaptured by the common masses. The government is working towards increasing connectivity of Assam to cities across India as well as overseas at cost effective prices by setting up many tourist lodges in the area where people may have a comfortable stay apart from soaking into the scenic beauty of its landscape.
The government as has announced an ambitious tourism policy by declaring the sector as an industry with an aim to increase tourist inflow by at least two to three times within next five years. The ‘Tourism Policy of Assam 2017’, effective from January 2017 to December 2022, lays special emphasis on making the state a preferred destination for film making by offering a range of incentives to movie producers. This tourism policy paper was aimed at creating a policy framework to move tourism into a major economic sector of Assam thereby increasing the inflow of tourists within the next few years. The government envisions development of quality, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development & human well-being. The govt. believes that private sector investing in Assam’s Tourism market can make this possible.

India is a major destination in the Asian Medical tourism market. Medical tourism is a high-growth industry driven by rising health care costs in developed nations and increasing connectivity with these countries. Some Indian states specialize in complex procedures in the medical technology and have a cost advantage. Assam’s natural resources boast of 300 types of medicinal herbs and plants. The Brahmaputra valley alone houses 150 varieties of herbs and plants of commercial value. An estimated 5-10% of plants and herbs have been commercially used for medicinal purposes.

In 2014, the Government launched the Make in India initiative to encourage national, as well as multi-national companies to manufacture their products in India. Assam can potentially become the base for manufacturing of generic drugs with focus on exporting to neighbouring countries. The Indian Pharmaceutical Market which has a global reputation of selling high quality, low cost drugs, can leverage this by welcoming more and more importers from overseas. Assam’s proximity with growing pharmaceutical markets in India’s eastern neighbourhood compels it to develop as a pharmaceutical hub. The state’s public sector institutional infrastructure comprises of 37 district hospitals, 19 sub-divisional civil hospitals, 1434 primary health centres (PHCs), 261 dispensaries, 5732 sub-centres and 217 community health centres (CHCs). The Government of India intends to set up a 750-bed All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Assam. Several private sector players have their presence in Assam’s multispecialty healthcare and diagnostics area.

The state has received more than $1 billion worth of investments over the past one year. The government attributes these investments from companies such as Unilever, Dabur and Sun Pharma, to Assam strengthening its position as a centre for trade serving the mega markets of the Southeast Asian nations.

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