GUWAHATI, March 21 � With a bid to improving trade and tourism ties between the North Eastern region and Bhutan, the NEDFi is organizsing a Bhutan trade show, followed by interactive sessions both in Guwahati and Shillong from March 23. A delegation from Bhutan led by Chen Chen Dorji, vice president of the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry is arriving in the State to take part in the programmes.
Welcoming the move of the NEDFi, Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said that the programmes would help immensely in boosting trade ties between the region and Bhutan.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Bordoloi said that boosting of trade ties would be beneficial for both NE and Bhutan. He said that the investors from Bhutan would be able to take the benefits of the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy, 2007 by setting up joint venture units in the region, particularly in Assam.
The Minister said that Bhutan has excess power and at present, the power is supplied to the Eastern grid. Talks are on to ensure that the region gets a share of the power, which will go a long way in improving the power scenario in the region. He further said that talks are on to introduce air connectivity between Guwahati and Thimphu. He said that he would meet the Bhutan delegation on March 24 to have a detailed discussion with them.
Bordoloi further said that economic cooperation with the neighbouring countries including Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal can be immensely beneficial for the economic growth of the NE region and a delegation from the region recently had a very fruitful discussion with the Government of Bangladesh and the trade bodies in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, giving details of the schedule of the visit of the Bhutan delegation, NEDFi sources said that the programme would start with a Bhutan show in the NEDFi haat in the morning of March 23 where the products of Bhutan would be showcased. That would be followed by an interactive session where the local entrepreneurs and Government representatives have been invited.
The Bhutan delegation would also visit Shillong where the thrust would be on tourism.
NEDFi sources said that the investors of Bhutan can set up food processing units in joint venture in Assam, which would not only attract investments to the State but would also generate employment. Sources pointed out that at present, different items including coke, building materials, food grains, spices etc are sent to Bhutan from Assam and there have been instances of illegal trade. If the trade ties are formalised, both India and Bhutan would benefit from the same, sources pointed out.