Assam provides immense possibilities for investments. It is the gateway to the northeastern states and has been aptly described as the sentinel of Northeast India. Seven Indian states and two countries, Bhutan and Bangladesh, surround Assam.The State is also strategically close to India's international borders with China and Myanmar. Assam is contiguously surrounded by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh on the north, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh on the east and Bangladesh, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram on the south.
For the development of any industry, the two most important factors to be taken into consideration are its proximity to the end user market and availability of raw materials. Fortunately, Assam possesses both the above factors.
Assam’s closeness to Myanmar provides it with a locational advantage, as Myanmar is the gateway to ASEAN countries. At present, the ASEAN markets are reputed as being the best and fast growing markets with surge in consumer demands. Assam can, thus, emerge as a strategic base for foreign and domestic investors to tap the vast potential of the emerging markets of Myanmar, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia and other East and South East Asian countries.
Both land and water routes are available for trade between Assam and the ASEAN countries and more routes are expected to open up in future. Assam’s closeness to the SAARC countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan can also be utilized by the investors. Assam also is abundant in natural resources and combined with its locational advantage and cheap skilled labour force, it is a perfect choice for investment.
Potential areas where investments can be made in Assam are:
Oil and natural gas projects
Crude oil refining
Gas based projects
Naphtha based projects
Limestone based industries
Agro based industries
Assam possesses the highest recoverable reserves of crude oil and natural gas in India. Assam is popular for its large industries in the tea and oil/ petroleum sectors. Assam is extraordinarily rich in natural resources like oil and natural gas, coal, rubber; as well as it has big reserves minerals like granite, limestone, forests and water resources. The State is renowned for its arts and crafts especially connected with the cottage industries. Cottage industries of Assam comprise of handloom, sericulture, cane and bamboo articles, carpentry, brass and bell-metal crafts and so on
Six airports, one inland waterway, and one inland container depot connect Assam with the major cities of the country and nearby international cities as well. There is also a proposal to connect Assam with its neighboring country Bhutan by road.
Key upcoming projects:
Six infrastructure projects are planned under a new scheme called City Infrastructure Development Fund (CIDF)
Mass Rapid Transit System is planned in Guwahati
Smart port townships are being planned along the river of Brahmaputra
Smart Cities Mission, for which Guwahati is the city identified in Assam
The Gross Domestic Product of Assam (GSDP) for the year 2014-15 was Rs.1,83,798 crore and The Gross State Domestic Product of Assam for 2017-18 (at current prices) is estimated to be Rs.2,58,337 crore which is 15% higher than the estimate for 2016-2017.
Assam had hosted the first-ever Global Investors’ Summit in Assam “Advantage Assam: India’s expressway to ASEAN” on 3rd - 4th February 2018. The summit was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan, Shri Tshering Tobgay. Business delegations from over 20 countries around the world attended the summit along with some of the largest business houses of India. During the summit 200 MoUs were signed in an estimated worth over US$ 15 billion.
The Business Environment
Tea plays a major part in industrialization in Assam. Aside from Tea Assam has four oil refineries that produce a considerable part of Petroleum and petroleum-based products in India. The registered factories in the state can be divided into Major, Medium and small units in Central Public sector, State Public Sector and Joint sector.
Assam possesses a dynamic industrial reserve encompassing immense and far- reaching industries like Petroleum, Petrochemicals, Fertilizers, Textiles, Cement, Paper, Plastic, and a host of products and services. The key areas of investment as identified by the Government of Assam as follows-
Food processing and agro based industries.
Mineral based industries
Bamboo based industries
Extraction and Value Addition of Herbal Medicinal and Aromatic Plants.
Information technology and related activities.
Hospitality, industry and Tourism etc.