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Myanmar beckons N-E traders

- Chambers hold meeting

Jorhat, Dec. 15: A delegation comprising members of Upper Assam Chambers of Commerce (UACC) and Moko-kchung Chambers of Commerce and Industries in Nagaland is likely to visit Myanmar to expand trade with the neighbouring country.

This was deliberated upon during a meeting between the delegations of the two chambers held at Mokokchung a couple of days back. A delegation of UACC, led by its president O.P. Gattani, visited Mokokchung yesterday to take part in the silver jubilee celebrations of the Mokokchung Chambers of Commerce and Industries

Gattani said the suggestion to visit Myanmar was made by additional chief secretary and development commissioner of Nagaland, Alemtemshi Jamir, who was the chief guest for the silver jubilee celebrations. “We have taken up his suggestion seriously and discussed the Myanmar visit. If things work out, we would be visiting Myanmar soon,” he said.

Jamir, while addressing the gathering, said it is time for the traders in Nagaland and Assam to look for scope to expand trade with Myanmar. To achieve this, a delegation comprising traders from Nagaland and neighbouring Assam should visit Myanmar.

He said to become a vibrant commercial hub, one has to inculcate modern perspectives to expand the commercial activities beyond the parameters of country.

The senior Nagaland government official said the Amguri-Tuli highway would be connected with Myanmar very soon and there would be immense scope for the traders in Assam and Nagaland to expand trade with the neighbouring country.

Gattani said as the northeastern states share 98 per cent of its boundary with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar and only two per cent with the mainland, the region should start trade with the neighbouring countries.

Traders of Mokokchung have a close bond with those in Jorhat as a bulk of the essential commodities to the neighbouring district is supplied from here.

Addressing the gathering at the function held at Mokokchung Town Hall, Gattani said the Northeast has an added demographic advantage in the sense that it occupies 7.8 per cent of the country’s total land space but has a population of 3.9 crore which is approximately 3.73 per cent of the country’s population.

“The Northeast is also a huge untapped emerging market which should prove to be of interest to large domestic and international investors,” he said.

The Mokokchung Chambers of Commerce and Industries urged the traders in Jorhat to help the small tea growers in Nagaland set up a tea-manufacturing factory in the neighbouring state.

“Since several tea plantations have come up in Mokokchung in recent times, the traders from the neighbouring state have requested us to help set up a tea factory there,” Gattani said. He said lack of a tea-manufacturing factory in Mokokchung has forced the tea growers in the neighbouring state to sell green leaves to tea factories in Assam at a very low price.