By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Dec 15: The All Manipur Entrepreneurs Association (AMEA) has asserted that the Restricted Area Permit (RAP) system is a major roadblock to eco-nomic development of Manipur.
According to AMEA, many Chinese companies and firms are keen to invest and open business enterprises in Manipur but RAP has been keeping away the Chinese firms as well as other foreign companies from venturing in the State.
Speaking to media persons at their Takyel Indus- trial Estate office today, AMEA president S Rishi-kumar said that RAP has been preventing Chinese firms and businessmen from venturing into Manipur.
He also expressed deep concern that Manipur will remain backward for many more decades if the restrictions imposed under RAP are not lifted by the Central and State Governments.
With a view to promote trade and business activities between Manipur and Myanmar, a North East India Trade Fair was held in Myanmar in 2016 under the joint initiative of the Government of India and AMEA.
Even though another delegation of AMEA was sent to Myanmar in 2017 and there is no harm in engaging in trade and commercial activities with Myanmar, it is hard to believe that economic engagement with Myanmar will bring any significant economic develop- ment in the State, Rishi-kumar said.
With the primary objective of exploring trade and business opportunities, a 15-member delegation of AMEA went to China from October 26 till November 7 this year.
The delegation visited key Chinese cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Kunming.
The team could not find any business opportunity at Beijing as the city is already highly developed and it would be hard for Manipuri traders/entrepreneurs to deal with businessmen from Beijing. But at Guangzhou, the delegates noticed a plethora of business opportunities and avenues. It is one place where all kinds of industries are present, Rishikumar said.
“During a mega export-import exhibition held at Guangzhou, we noticed a number of businesses and industries which can be opened in Manipur and we were convinced that industrial and commercial partnership with China will propel Manipur on the path of speedy economic development”, he continued. China uses advanced technologies in every industry and their products are of very high quality. There is also an understanding to establish a business partnership between Guangzhou and Manipur within a short time, he claimed.
Another understanding has also been reached with the authorities of Kunming for opening trade and business activities between Manipur and Kunming through their foreign affairs office. AMEA has been invited to a huge exhibition which would be held in June next year at Kunming. AMEA has been working to send a team and establish a firm business relationship with Kunming, Rishikumar said.
If RAP imposed in Manipur is lifted, it would go a long way in bringing speedy economic development in the State, he said. He also underscored the growing need of opening a bank in the State which would exclusively deal with export and import transactions.
For development of trade and commercial activities in the North East region in association with South Asian countries, the Government of India ought to provide certain benefits of air connectivity in line with its Act East Policy, he added.
By Our Staff Reporter