Extolling Tripura’s industriousness in Information and Technology sector and it’s excellence in the endeavor of e-governance, Central government awarded the state with accolades and rewards.
With the potential to generate and boost employment opportunities for its IT schooled individuals, Northeast’s largest IT hub was inaugurated in Tripura by its Chief Minister Mr. Manik Sarkar, along with IT and Education Minister Mr. Tapan Chakraborty and Mr. Omkar Rai, Director General of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI).
The decision was rolled out with the enthusiastic vision to encourage prominent IT companies of India to commence their business; making utmost use of the beneficial services and holistic facilities that sprouted with the establishment of North East India’s sixth and largest IT hub, costing 50 crores.
Motivating and inspiring the new age spirit of entrepreneurship; beckoning start-up companies to the new haven of IT hub can be rendered as a positive and promising initiative, underscoring Government of India’s ideology of ‘Start-up’ culture and ‘Digital India’.
The effectual impact resulting in the export of software technology and furnishing e-governance accessibility to the door step of people is also an important aspect being looked forward to and awaits the test of time.
Tripura booming with English skilled IT educated youth and now supplemented with the upcoming IT hub in the North-East, would surely reap benefits from its close proximity with Bangladesh. Capitalizing on its qualified personnel and infrastructural development, Tripura could prove to be an asset for Bangladesh’s nascent IT industry, thereby driving economic enhancement for itself by doubling Bangladesh’s IT exports by 2017.
Tripura is transforming itself into an immensely valuable business and trade destination. Brimming with natural landscape and manmade marvels of infrastructures, its economy is exploding with the excitement of new possibilities and fruitful collaborations.
However, it is a matter of utmost importance to harness the transition from a remote, neglected region to becoming North East’s most productive and nationally rewarding state. Employment based subsidies, revamping investment topography, enriching IT and software segments and providing incentives for Agri-businesses are some of the prominent facets driving the state’s economic engine of growth.
With the recent revision in Industrial Investment Promotion and Incentive scheme (IIPIS) 2012, Tripura has accoutered infrastructural and logistic support, along with capital subsidy being raised from 30 to 35% of the fixed capital investment.
With dismissal of bottlenecks and ease in connectivity between India and Bangladesh, the investment windows have been generously flung open to welcome South Asian markets. Hassle-free operations have given Bangladesh the confidence to provide accessibility to its seaport at Chittagong and river port at Ashuganj.
Known for pragmatism and circumspect vision, Chief Minister Mr. Manik Sarkar has fueled the state of Tripura with investment beckoning opportunities, specifically for establishing small and medium scale units. The rich reservoir of natural resources like bamboo, rubber, tea and natural gas make the investment pool even more expansive and wide-ranging.
International hotel chain operator AccorHotels plans to expand its base by opening five new hotels in Myanmar by the year 2019. In order to re-brand an existing hotel apartment into a Mercure in Myanmar, the company has signed a management contract with SC Capital Partners Group. The management contract will make it possible to rebrand the seven-story Micasa Hotel Apartments Yangon to Mercure Yangon Kaba Aye by July 2017. The new Mercure is located in close proximity to the famous Shwedagon Golden Pagoda. It offers 143 apartments and 40 deluxe rooms to its customers.
As per company’s Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Mr. Patrick Basset, the company is opening five new properties by the year 2019 as a part of the larger strategy to expand its footprint in Myanmar. A press release issued by AccorHotels stated that presently there are five of its hotels operating in Myanmar. These hotels include, The Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw, MGallery by Sofitel, Novotel Yangon Max, Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min, and ibis Styles Yangon Stadium.
Myanmar has made it onto Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30 Asia” list for the second year consecutively. Ms. Chan Myae Khine, founder and CEO of Amara Digital Marketing Agency, is listed as one of the honorees for Media, Marketing & Advertising category this year. Ms. Chan’s Forbes profile says the following: “Khine is responsible for the first ever digital marketing agency in Myanmar, which is also completely self-funded. Amara manages digital marketing projects for local and international clients. International hotel chain operator AccorHotels plans to expand its base by opening five new hotels in Myanmar by the year 2019. In order to re-brand an existing hotel apartment into a Mercure in Myanmar, the company has signed a management contract with SC Capital Partners Group. The management contract will make it possible to rebrand the seven-story Micasa Hotel Apartments Yangon to Mercure Yangon Kaba Aye by July 2017. The new Mercure is located in close proximity to the famous Shwedagon Golden Pagoda. It offers 143 apartments and 40 deluxe rooms to its customers. As per company’s Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Mr. Patrick Basset, the company is opening five new properties by the year 2019 as a part of the larger strategy to expand its footprint in Myanmar. A press release issued by AccorHotels stated that presently there are five of its hotels operating in Myanmar. These hotels include, The Lake Garden Nay Pyi Taw, MGallery by Sofitel, Novotel Yangon Max, Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min, and ibis Styles Yangon Stadium. In 2016, Amara’s revenue grew by 400 percent to reach US $ 200,000. It has served clients such as Nok Air, VietJet, Singapore Tourism Board, Cherry Mobile, Oppo, and the Singapore Institute of Management.”
Ms. Chan opened her marketing firm Amara in partnership with her husband Mr. Kyaw Myo Khine. Previously she studied at Yangon University of Foreign Languages and National University of Singapore and then she started working in Singapore in both IT related and marketing roles. In relation to being included in this prestigious list, Ms. Chan said: “Comparing to other honorees from different countries in this year’s list, my achievement is next to nothing. Yet, I am grateful for getting featured while leading an independent agency fully owned by locals. As Forbes looks at company’s results rather than individual’s achievements, this recognition is mainly the result of my colleagues. I would love to see more Burmese making to the list under various categories in upcoming years.”
National Healthcare System Co Ltd (N Health), a healthcare business unit owned by Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc (BDMS), has opened a medical laboratory in Yangon in partnership with some local firms. N Health considers this investment in Myanmar as just a first step as it has plans of opening up various other branches in this region. After Myanmar, the firm plans to spread its operations in Cambodia and after that further ahead in Indonesia and the Philippines. They want to spread their reach and provide high quality preventive healthcare services to much more people. The company’s annual revenue was US $90 million for the year 2016 and its shows a 25% increase year-on-year which is the result of its business expansion. In Thailand, BDMS provides system services and products supporting the hospital business such as diagnostic testing, biomedical engineering, sterile processing, hospital linen management, telemedicine and medical equipment supplies.
In Myanmar, it will focus on operating the medical laboratory which will support large hospitals for highend genetic tests, allergy tests and evaluations for tuberculosis, malaria and dengue fever. It also aims to provide standard analytical services including medical checkups for small and medium-sized hospitals as well as walk-in customers. In order to register itself in Myanmar, N Health has partnered with two local healthcare companies – Bahosi Hospital and Sea Lion Group. As a partner in this alliance, N Health will bear 60% of the total US $2.5 million investment this lab while it’s two partners will put in 20% each. N Health Myanmar plans to open another laboratory in Mandalay in the near future.
Indian refiners already have a presence in Bangladesh and Nepal and now they are keen to enter Myanmar as auto fuel suppliers. At the same time, they are also consolidating their presence in their earlier South Asian markets. Numaligarh Refinery Ltd based in Assam will be the first Indian company to sell petroleum products to Myanmar starting in the latter half of 2017. Initially the fuel will be supplied through pipelines and in future the demand turns out to be huge then the company might invest in pipelines. Indian Oil Corp., the Indian Government owned refinery, is also looking forward to start its operations in Myanmar and has already submitted a proposal to the government of that country.
This corporation is also is also preparing to expand its Nepal operations by opening 100 retail outlets in partnership with Nepal Oil Corp. The possibility of expanding the proposed pipeline to connect Motihari in Bihar and Chitwan in Nepal was discussed between India’s Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Nepal’s minister for supplies Deepak Bohara during a meeting held in March 2017. The possibility offsetting up two additional pipelines to transport liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas is also being discussed between India and Nepal.
Myanmar’s State Counselor Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has slammed Tokyo for providing economic assistance to the country, which was at the time ruled by the military. However, now she is willing to join hands with Japan for practical benefits. Ever since her party assumed power, Ms. Suu Kyi has taken a very pragmatic approach. She put aside her differences with military leaders and business tycoons who made a fortune during the junta era and chose to give priority to economic development instead. She has even gone as far as to maintain relatively friendly ties with the former junta leaders who effectively imprisoned her for more than 14 years. She has also
pledged to refrain from targeting the corrupt tycoons. She is following the same policy with Japan in order to uphold the best interests of her country.
Some experts believe that she is trying to find a balance in getting along well with both Japan and China at the same time. Her recent trip to Japan provided Japanese firms a fresh momentum to advance further into Myanmar. The lifting of sanctions by the U.S. is also an
encouraging factor as in the past many Japanese firms have avoided doing business with blacklisted entities. Many Japanese firms are already operating in Myanmar and have brought in heavy investments. With Ms. Suu Kyi’s attitude softening towards Japan, many more businesses and more investment is expected to enter Myanmar’s economy. Myanmar is a growing economy with great
potential and many Japanese firms operating here are already making huge profits. With Ms. Suu Kyi allowing and even encouraging Japanese firms to do business in her country many more companies are likely to follow.
Myanmar’s State Counselor Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is promoting an overhauled investment law to a new generation of smaller businesses. She hopes one day these small businesses will be able to dilute the influence of Myanmar’s old military-linked oligarchs.
This new strategy and planning is aimed at leveling the market field so that local businesses of Myanmar are able to stand up to the foreign companies and survive and thrive alongside them. This new law was signed on October 18, 2016 after the United States President Mr. Barack Obama formally dropped all the remaining U.S.
imposed sanctions on Myanmar.
The United States decided to drop the sanctions because it saw Myanmar moving towards becoming a complete democracy. This was the result of years of struggle by Ms. Suu Kyi and various other supporters of her cause which resulted in National League of Democracy to win the elections in Myanmar and come to power. Many investment and government officials worked hard to design the new streamlined law in order to make it easier and faster for smaller, local businesses to obtain operating permits. Myanmar’s
economy is expanding rapidly and it is hoped that local businesses will be able to provide a big boost to it.
Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd. (TSECL) was facing troubles in the past few months as it was not being able to pay its dues to North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO). As a result, NEEPCO had served a notice to TSECL stating that if the dues are not paid it will stop providing 100 out of the 110 MW power that it supplies to the state. This would have resulted in a major power crisis in Tripura.
TSECL owed a total of Rs. 180 crore in payments to NEEPCO but due to facing a major financial crisis it was not being able to pay its dues. However, in order to avoid facing a major situation due to the electricity supply being discontinued it has released Rs. 10 crore payment to NEEPCO. TSECL also said that it will clear the pending payment in a phased manner though it did not specify a time frame for it. On receiving the payment of Rs 10 crore, NEEPCO has agreed to continue supplying power to TSECL but only for the next two months. TSECL also owes a huge amount to ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd. (OTPC) and might get served a notice from them as well
A three-day North East-Asean Business Summit took place in Imphal on April 9, 2016. This summit focused on the entire North East with major emphasis on Manipur. This state is being seen as the main trade point between India and South East Asian countries. Manipur acts as a key strategic location for trade between Bangladesh and other ASEAN countries. Keeping that in in mind the need for a MoU to be signed between Manipur Chamber of Commerce and Bangladesh was greatly stressed upon. The attendees at the summit included ambassadors of Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, Bangladesh Commerce Minister Mr. Tofail Ahmed, 140 Indian delegates, and representatives from ASEAN. It was organized jointly by Indian Chamber of Commerce, Manipur commerce and industries department and Institute of Company Secretaries of India.The main objective of this summit was to promote the growth of India’s North Eastern region by attracting foreign as well as Indian investors. The generation of more employment opportunities for the youth through the expansion of business was a major goal. During the summit, Mr. Tofail highlighted the long history of close relations between Bangladesh and India’s North Eastern states and said that this summit holds great importance for his country. He stated that signing of memorandum of understanding with Manipur to boost trade and commerce is of utmost importance. He also extended an invitation to ManipurChief Minister Mr. OkramIbobi Singh to visit Bangladesh with a trade delegation.
Mr. Govindas Konthoujam, the Minister for Commerce and Industries for the state of Manipur stated that Manipur is receivinga lot of spotlight after the ‘Look East Policy’ has been initiated by the Government of India. He went on to say that Manipur’s strategic location makes it a very important factor for the success of this policy. Manipur’s huge potential in areas such as floricultures, organic farming, aromatic plants, and medicinal plants can be harnessed and it can also serve as a major trade route for conducting business with other Asian countries. Mr. Konthoujam also said that Manipur can learn a lot from Bangladesh in the field of textile and garment industries and increase its trade potential even further. The summitalso featured a technical session on the topic “Development through Infrastructure and Connectivity in NE-ASEAN: Trade and Commerce and Tourism”.