Friday, September 22, 2023
Top Stories

Potential investors pitch proposals & reveal plans for Nagaland

round table

Rio, TRZ gung-ho about State’s potentials, sales pitch decibels increase

DIMAPUR, JUNE 3: The second day of the Northeast Global Investors Summit 2023, Nagaland State Roundtable, witnessed a number of potential investors pitch proposals and reveal plans that included, among others, setting up of training institute by Frankfinn Aviation Services Pvt. Limited in the State, food courts by Devyani International Limited in PPP model with profit-sharing with the Government of Nagaland along the National Highways, a 2,000-seater call centre by Vertex Global Services, a startup acceleration centre by Marwari Catalysts, and a food processing park by Millet Magic Foundation.
The event, which was held on Saturday at the Rhododendron Hall, Police Complex, Chumoukedima, was attended by various Departments of the Govt. of Nagaland besides the potential investors, as well as Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy Chief Minister TR Zeliang, Secretary, DONER, Lok Ranjan, Advisor Industries & Commerce Hekani Jakhalu and Chief Secretary J Alam.
Rio, delivering the keynote address on the occasion, stated that the Government is committed to maintaining the State’s growth momentum, parallel with the rest of the country. He stressed on the Government’s consistent efforts to foster an investor-friendly environment in Nagaland by formulating pragmatic policies and promoting good governance.
In this regard, he cited the creation of the Investment & Development Authority of Nagaland (IDAN), a Government agency dedicated to promoting investment-friendly policies and CSR programmes the role of which also includes serving as a one-stop clearance point to facilitate ease of business.
Noting Government’s proactive steps to introduce new policies, laws, and regulations to foster a conducive investment climate, he said that these include guidelines to ensure smooth land availability for investors and policy advocacies to boost investments in the State.
Rio emphasized that these initiatives are not only aimed at improving the investment ecosystem but also provide practical assistance to overcome any potential hurdles that may discourage investment.
Rio further emphasized Nagaland’s strategic location as a gateway to South-East Asian countries, sharing a 215 km international border with Myanmar, thereby making it a significant corridor for countrywide trade promotion.
In line with this, he said, the State is engaging with the Central Government to develop an Inland Waterway on the Tizu-Zungki River, the only east-flowing river in the State as this development is expected to further facilitate Indo-Myanmar trade and connectivity with South-east Asian countries.
Lok Ranjan underscored the emerging strength of the region and how collaboration could transform its resources into wealth. Stating that while DoNER has limited resources, he however said the limitations of one player could be transformed into a wealth of opportunity, especially in a resource-rich state like Nagaland.
Speaking about the competitive edge that early investment can provide, Ranjan pointed out that many States from the Northeast region, particularly in social parameters, are outperforming national averages. He also noted that in financial and growth terms, several States in the region are advancing faster than the national average.
The Ministry of DoNER, according to Ranjan, bases its decisions on hard data and objective assessments, focusing on opportunities in sectors such as primary, agricultural and allied, tourism, start-ups and small to medium enterprises. The Ministry, he said, is fostering an ecosystem approach in collaboration with leading institutions, in each of the sector which would benefit the States of the region and added that the approach has been met with positive responses.
Highlighting Nagaland’s readiness to cater to potential investors, he cited the State’s responsiveness in terms of policy, system and creating a conducive business environment. The State’s preparedness in terms of policy, infrastructure and identifying investible projects was emphasized, indicating a promising future for those looking to invest.
The Secretary underlined that the summit is not a one-off intervention but signifies the beginning of continued efforts for the growth of the Northeast and noted that the goal is not only to promote the welfare of individual entities but also to contribute to nation-building and the new India narrative.
He assured that in spite of limited resources, the Ministry of DoNER is dedicated to playing a significant role in this journey and added that this ongoing initiative is expected to lead up to the global investor summit scheduled for August-September and continuing beyond that.
In a special address, Deputy Chief Minister, TR Zeliang, conveyed that the presence of the summit attendees has instilled tremendous confidence and hope for transforming Nagaland into a prosperous and vibrant State in India. He appreciated their participation, noting it demonstrates their care for the people of Nagaland and faith in the State’s potential as an investment hub.
Zeliang expressed hope that despite Nagaland’s rugged terrain and small size, the State would experience a surge in investments in the coming years, provided the investment dialogue continues. However, he regretted that the ongoing unresolved Indo-Naga political issue has hindered Nagaland’s potential to thrive alongside the rest of India. He acknowledged the struggles of the Naga people who have persevered with limited resources.
Despite these challenges, Zeliang pointed out the emerging hope with the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Government of India and NSCN (IM), as well as the Agreed Position between the Government of India and WC NPGs. He mentioned the notable progress in the political dialogue and appreciated the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister’s dedication to resolving the longstanding Naga political issue. These developments, he stated, are providing a glimmer of hope for a more prosperous Nagaland.
On the law and order front, Zeliang assured that the situation is largely stable in the State. He expressed confidence that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, a resolution to the Naga political issue will be achieved soon, thereby dissolving any fears and apprehensions in the minds of investors.
Highlighting the State’s wealth of natural resources, Zeliang informed that Nagaland is sitting on millions of metric tons of untapped crude oil and mineral deposits. He added that the State is blessed with abundant flora and fauna, and beautiful landscapes, all ripe for economic exploitation. He invited investors to tap into the vast potential of Nagaland’s human resources, education, health and hospitality sectors, IT, tourism, culture, sports and music.
Zeliang further emphasized the State’s improved connectivity with the rest of India through road, air and rail networks, stating it as an added bonus for external investors. With confidence, he expressed that investing in Nagaland is a risk worth taking. Chief Secretary J Alam, in his speech, spoke on how the State Government has undertaken numerous initiatives to bolster infrastructure development in recent years. Areas of focus include power, telecommunications, road, air and rail connectivity, as well as healthcare. He stressed that these improvements not only enable better movement of goods and services but also streamline logistics, reduce costs and enhance efficiency for businesses, creating an optimal business environment.
Alam highlighted the people of Nagaland as another key asset, stating that the State’s skilled workforce is known for its resilience, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit. He noted that Nagaland’s youth are increasingly pursuing higher education, acquiring advanced skills and staying abreast of the latest technologies. With a literacy rate exceeding 80%, Alam emphasized that Nagaland has a wealth of capable individuals ready to contribute to the State’s growth and economy.
He also drew attention to Nagaland’s investment-friendly policy framework. Alam noted the enactment of the Nagaland Start-up Policy 2019, designed to facilitate start-up growth and establish Nagaland as a model in India’s North East Region. He added that the State is currently revising the Nagaland State Industrial Policy, with a particular emphasis on special incentives for fully export-oriented units. Additionally, Alam stated that the Nagaland State Logistics Policy is nearing its final stages of formulation.
Aligning with India’s commitment to transforming governance and regulatory systems, the State Government has prioritized business reforms aimed at providing basic amenities and promoting ease of doing business, Alam added.
Organised by IDAN and Department of Industries and Commerce, the roundtable was also addressed by Advisor Jakhalu, IDAN Chairman Abu Metha and representatives of Invest India and FICCI.
(Page News Service)