GUWAHATI, Oct 22 - Despite being rich in natural resources, the contribution of Northeast towards India’s economy is minuscule, country director of Asian Development Bank Kenichi Yokoyama said today.
The region has only 0.2 per cent share in India’s total exports and majority of the products exported from the region are low-value products and natural resources based like primary produces from agriculture.
Making a presentation on ‘Prospects of Indo-Bangladesh Cross Border Trade in the light of Recent Developments’, the ADB official said though India and Bangladesh are major trading partners, but the contribution of Northeast is marginal.
He said India accounts for 16.4% of Bangladesh’s imports, but NER’s share is only 1.2%.
Yokoyama said given Bangladesh’s import basket, Northeast can be a major trading partner, with the 28% ($ 15 billion) of Bangladesh’s import demand being for products which can be manufactured using local resources of the region.
The region needs to diversify its product mix and increase its processing capacity to serve the ASEAN and BBN markets, he said.
With India eyeing the ASEAN and BBN markets and NER’s geographical proximity to these countries, the region stands to be a major trading partner, especially with Bangladesh.
Potential export goods from NE could be industrial goods, like plastic and polymers, paper and paper goods, agro and food processing products, and rubber, and in the service sector in the fields of higher education, tourism and medical tourism.