The North East – Exim Bank's Endeavour
Mr. David Sinate, Chief General Manager

Nestled in the North eastern corner of the country are the eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, collectively known as the eight sisters. The region constitutes around 3% of the country’s population and 8% of geographical area, shares more than 5000 kms of international boundary with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Nepal, and serves as a natural gateway for India to East and South East Asian regions.

Although endowed with extensive forests, exotic fauna, fauna and a rich mineral resource base, lack of connectivity and low level of infrastructure growth has hampered the region’s economic growth. The region also has a huge potential for generation of hydropower, solar power and wind energy, and boasts of significant shale oil reserves. Recognising the immense unexploited potential for development in the region, the NITI Aayog, in its recent “India – Three Year Action Agenda: 2017-18 to 2019-20”, has laid stress on the transit treaties and development of physical and digital connectivity and transport links of the region with the neighbouring countries.

Having one of the highest literacy rates in the country, capacity development and building up human resource capital in the region assumes added importance for overall social and economic growth. Towards this end, Exim Bank has been actively supporting capacity development programmes and knowledge building seminars in the region through its Regional Office in Guwahati, supported by the linkages it has with select trade and industry bodies and institutions from the region.

Exim Bank has published a number of research papers, many of which have direct relevance to the region. For instance, Bank’s research publication on “Potential for Exports of IT Enabled Services from North Eastern Region of India”, identifies that North Eastern region offers good scope for development of the IT industry and related services due to a number of factors including the high level of literacy, large population of English-speaking workforce coupled with the low attrition rates present etc. Exim Bank’s Study on Export Potential for States such as Mizoram and Sikkim identified potential products and export markets for the States of Mizoram and Sikkim, respectively.

Some of the emerging Industries in NER include Information Technology (IT), e-commerce, Tourism (including adventure and eco-tourism), agro-based processing industry, horticulture, handicrafts and textiles. The thrust areas identified by MSME Task Force (2010) for the NER include sectors such as handicrafts, horticulture (including bamboo and bamboo application), textiles, live stock development, leather industry and food processing industry.According to the North East Region Vision 2020, published by the Ministry of DONER, the relatively high labour-intensity of MSMEs gives it a crucial role in reducing poverty and unemployment.

To promote research and knowledge-building, Exim Bank has also taken the initiative of setting up scholarships in select universities and institutions, covering all the eight states of the region. These universities/institutions cover the North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST) in Arunachal Pradesh, Tezpur University in Assam, Manipur University, Mizoram University, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Meghalaya, Sikkim-Manipal University, Nagaland University and Tripura University. These scholarships have been instituted to recognise and encourage meritorious students and researchers of the region, and are envisaged to contribute to Exim Bank’s overall endeavour in the North East region of the country.

Add Your Comment