Arunachal looking to improve trade relations with neighbouring countries: Khandu

  • | Tuesday | 24th May, 2022

Itanagar, May 24 (PTI) Asserting that Arunachal Pradesh has huge trade potential as it shares border with China, Myanmar and Bhutan, Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday said that the state would look to improving its business relations with the South-East Asian countries, in line with the Centre’s Neighbourhood First Policy.Speaking at the inaugural session of the one-day International Buyer Seller Meet (IBSM) here, Khandu said that Pangsau Pass along the state’s border with Myanmar and Lumla-Tashigang road that joins Arunachal Pradesh with Bhutan could well be used to boost trade relations with the two countries."By 2047, we should aim to make Arunachal Pradesh a gateway for trade among neighbours," he said at the second edition of IBSM, organised by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) under the Union ministry of commerce.The meet aims to promote export of agricultural and processed food products from Arunachal Pradesh and provide a market linkage to producers.Lauding APEDA for the initiative, Khandu suggested that focus should be given on developing three types of markets -- short distance, medium-distance and long distance.The "short distance market", he said, is the existing one within the state, which needs to be further strengthened if personnel of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces could be considered as potential buyers, given the fact that they are posted in the frontier state in large numbers. "Under the "middle distance market" category, we can work on building businesses with rest of the country including the states in the Northeast. We also need to explore and open marketing avenues with neighboring countries under the third category," Khandu explained.Emphasizing on the need to promote sustainable and organic agriculture in the state, he said that Arunachal Pradesh, with only 17 people per sq km on am average, has huge stretches of fertile land."From the foothills to the snow-clad mountains, we have all weather conditions suitable for various agriculture and horticulture products. By strengthening agriculture and allied sectors, enhancing the quality of output and improving livelihoods of people, Arunachal can become ‘Atma Nirbhar’ (self reliant)," he said.Underscoring the importance of GI (Geographical Indication) tag, which has become a "powerful tool to project the uniqueness and distinct characteristic of a product", Khandu requested government departments to pursue the label for the state"s exclusive products, in coordination with APEDA."Our Arunachal oranges have already received the GI tag. We are the largest producers of Kiwi in the country. We should work towards identifying more such unique local products from agro, horticultural, textile and handloom sectors," he stated.The chief minister expressed hope that exchange of views and ideas between sellers from the state and buyers from across the country and abroad at the one-day meet would throw open new business avenues.Among others, Agriculture Minister Tage Taki and the chairman of APEDA, M Angamuthu, were present at the event. PTI UPL RMS RMS

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