Towards Economic Growth - Eastern Mirror
Friday, February 23, 2024

Towards Economic Growth

By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 22, 2023 12:04 am

The formation of the Confederation of North East States Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CoNESCCI) at the just concluded first business conclave in Nagaland was a significant move towards drawing a common roadmap towards a thriving economy. Despite sharing many common problems, including lack of infrastructure and industries that require collective effort to tackle, each of the eight states were more or less locked internally until a few decades ago. On top of that, the region is landlocked with only 22-km wide narrow corridor that connects to the rest of India. This strategic location is one of the reasons for its formidable problems not receiving much attention; it is also the reason for grabbing the attention of the Indian government, considering the strategic importance for national security and the prospect of promoting economic cooperation and cultural ties with Southeast Asia and East Asia due to the proximity of the region to international markets. This has given birth to India’s Act East Policy, which has been widely publicised at the national level but not so much in the Northeast, perhaps due to lack of business knowledge among the populace. One undeniable reality we see in the region today is the growing interdependency, expansion of trading activities and cultural exchange among the northeastern states. What happens in one state has an impact on the others, be it economically, politically or socially. The ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur is a case in point. Considering the importance of having a common platform to resolve common issues, the Confederation of Nagaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry did a commendable job by bringing all the major trading organisations of the region together through the business conclave.

As a body meant to promote and protect the common interests of the region, the newly formed CoNESCCI should act as a catalyst of economic growth for northeastern states by framing policies that promote trade, remove trade barriers, organise meetings, establish business contacts, build consensus, disseminate information to business people, collaborate tourism, etc. While it is necessary to keep an eye on the applicability of government’s trade policies in the region, as what works in a developed market may not work in an emerging market, building unnecessary walls with myopic outlook will not help the economy of the region. It should not allow small business organisations to hold the whole region to ransom. It should help solve differences and disputes amicably. Failing to do so will kill the very purpose of having a business organisation that represents the region. The Northeast has faced issues like supply-chain constraints, trade barriers, insurgency issues, lack of infrastructure, etc. for too long. It’s high time to enhance the ease of doing business and pave the way for economic growth. That’s the way forward.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 22, 2023 12:04:03 am
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