The North East India-CLMV Business Summit 2017

The North East India-CLMV Business Summit 2017

The recently concluded North East (India) – CLMV Business Summit 2017, organized by ICSI and Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in association with Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) in Assam was a great success. The event was chaired by Chief Guest Shri HonchunNgandam, honorable Education Minister of Arunachal Pradesh State Government, India.

I was honored to be part of this business summit and share the stage with honorable Ministers, Bureaucrats, Government Officials and other dignitaries. The theme of the conference was ‘Deliberation on Trade Potential of Services between NER (I) & Cambodia, Lao DPR, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) countries’. The discussions were focused on various topics including Education, Higher Education Infrastructure, Education Exchange, Skill Development, Capacity Building, Healthcare, Herbal Medicines, Ayurveda, Investment opportunities in CLMV, Incentives for North East Indian Companies for starting businesses in CLMV countries etc.

My address at the summit was keyed on identifying the need for“Skill Development and Capacity Building” in CLMV countries. The CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam) covers 32% area of ASEAN and 165 Million populations. The majority of population is unskilled and have low literacy rate. The understanding of business languages like English is very limited. Thus it is required to uplift the Education standards in these countries. It is also advisable to introduce more Vocational Training Centers providing industry specific trainings. The Education Exchange programs between North East India and CLMV will boost the skill development in CLMV.

The CLMV countries like Lao PDR have priority list for FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) under which they provide special subsidies and tax benefits to the investors. The priority list of Lao PDR includes Education, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals and Agriculture. The Lao PDR is very peaceful country and safe for investments. There is a single party government and all policies are investment friendly. They have single window policy for FDI so that you can receive all the necessary information, permits and licenses from one office.

Assam in North East of India is gateway to South East Asia. Also the distance of CLMV countries from Guwahati (Capital of Assam) is less than New Delhi (Capital of India). The distance from Guwahati to New Delhi is 1462 KM and Guwahati to Myanmar is 1133 KM, Guwahati to Lao PDR is 1441 KM, Guwahati to Cambodia is 2128 KM and from Guwahati to Vietnam is 1546 KM. As we could see that some of the CLMV are much closer to North East India than the country’s own capital, there is huge opportunity in strengthening the strategic bilateral ties between North East India and CLMV countries.

The industries in North East India should plan to invest in CLMV. There are special grants and benefits from the Government of India under “Act East Policy” to promote SME in CLMV (ASEAN). Also the construction of the Trilateral Highway joining India to Myanmar and Thailand will benefit the trade with CLMV. I am thankful to the EXIM Bank of India to come forward and showing active participation in facilitating the investors from India to invest in CLMV. I appreciate the initiative of EXIM Bank of India to finance 60% – 75% of the total project cost for promoting SME in CLMV. The EXIM Bank of India is actively looking for projects such as Medical College and Hospital, Coffee Plantation, Pulses Farming, etc. in CLMV to be taken by the companies from North East India.

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