Imphal: Vanijya Utsav – Exporter Conclave for promotion of export-oriented businesses in Manipur was inaugurated here by Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh as chief guest. The inaugural function was organised by the Department of Textiles, Commerce & Industry, Government of Manipur in association with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Department of Commerce, Government of India and Federation of Indian Export Organisation.
The Chief Minister expressing his pleasure to be part of “Vanijya Utsav”, celebrated as part of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” for promotion of exports from India and its potential, stated that “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” is celebrated commemorating 75 years of progressive India and the contributions of the people of India who have been instrumental in the journey. He further stated that it is also a reminder of the power and potential of the people to actualize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The 2-day event, the Chief Minister felt, will be immensely beneficial to the entrepreneurs and businesses in the State and in promoting local products for exports.
The Chief Minister further stated that the state being the gateway to ASEAN nations has tremendous potential for development and growth. Accordingly, developing connectivity infrastructure in the State has been a priority of this government. Rail connectivity of Imphal with Jiribam and other projects like the Trilateral Highway from Thailand to Moreh and Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project have immense potential to boost exports once completed.
In the past four and half years, other related infrastructure projects were inaugurated and taken up including Integrated Check Post at Moreh and the Land Customs Station, Moreh located within the ICP are functional. Repairing and renovation of the Trade Centre at Moreh was taken up to provide state of art facilities for conducting G2B and B2B conferences to promote exports. Manipur Trade and Expo Centre at Lamboikhongnangkhong was established with Central Government assistance and Mega Food Park with associated cold storage and warehouses in 8 districts, along with the proposed CSIR-CFTRI Resource Centre at Imphal, to give an impetus to the food processing sector in the State, he added.
He further stated that Manipur is known for its rich agri-horti resources. Out of 2,77,064 hectares identified as a potential area for horticulture crops, only about 62,200 hectares is covered at present, leaving ample opportunity for expansion. The government will continue to promote local agricultural, horticultural and forest produce through various schemes. Chakhao (aromatic black rice) recently got a Geographical indication tag and is currently exported to other states and foreign nations as well. Tribal beneficiaries are being extended support under Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana. Organic farming is being promoted under “Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region”. Products are identified for all districts under One District One Product Scheme to reap the benefit of scale. Prime Minister Formalization of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM FME) Scheme will also give a major boost to the food processing sector. Handlooms, Handicrafts, art made of cane and bamboo and Manipur pottery with unique and exquisite designs peculiar to their communities are also potential areas of export.
He informed that to facilitate robust policy and strategic planning at the State level for promoting exports, the State Government constituted the State Level Export Promotion Committee and District Export promotion Committees for preparation of the District Export Action Plans for each of the 16 districts and steps are also being taken to survey export potential and to frame Manipur Export Policy under Market Access Initiative of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.
The Chief Minister highlighted certain areas which need to be considered to further consolidate the efforts made towards promoting exports of local products and a special provision on the lines of an Indo-Myanmar Border Free Trade through Moreh by setting up a branch office of Passport Seva Kendra, would boost the prospects of trade and exports in the State as transition to normal trade resulted in levying of 40% duties, adversely impacting trade through Moreh. Development of Multi-Modal Logistics Park in the State of Manipur has potential for the region and country in light of planned Trans Asian Railway Network, Trilateral Highway and Inland Waterways.
The Chief Minister thanked the DGFT, Department of Commerce, Government of India and Federation of Indian Exports Organisation for their support and said that the deliberations during the 2-day event will be informative and constructive and will provide valuable perspectives to better understand the potentials areas and challenges to promote trade and exports in the State.
The inaugural function was attended by Union Minister of State (External Affairs & Education), RK Ranjan Singh, as Guest of Honour, Minister, (Textiles, Commerce & Industries) Th. Bishwajit Singh, as President along with other dignitaries and participants.