Manipur', which literally means 'a jewelled land', has a rich reserve of natural resources combined with refreshing scenic beauty. Physically, the state comprises of two parts, the hills and the valley. The valley is at the centre surrounded by hills on all sides. Thus, it is nature's pristine glory in the true sense.
The natives of Manipur are artistic and creative by nature, which is prominent in their handloom and handicraft products world-famous for their designs, originality and usefulness. The geographical location of Manipur beckons industrialization of the most modern kind. Agriculture and allied activities is the backbone of the economy. Manipur is a suitable place for knowledge-intensive industrialization with high learning components. Although the state is located in a far flung north-eastern corner of the country, it has many advantages and opportunities for investment. There are several sectors like agro and food processing, handloom and handicrafts, tourism and information technology with ample potential for attracting investors and, the State Government has also taken several policy measures and incentives for attracting investors in these sectors.
AGRO AND FOOD PROCESSING
The agro-climatic condition of this State makes it suitable for growing almost all kinds of agricultural and horticultural crops and setting up of food processing industries. Manipur produces sizeable quantity of paddy, wheat, maize, pulses, oilseeds (like mustard, groundnut, soya beans and sunflower), fruits (like pineapple, lime, lemon, banana and orange), and vegetables (like cauliflower, cabbage, tomato and peas). As a result, the food processing sector plays a significant role in diversification and commercialization of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, poultry, animal husbandry and forestry. In view of the importance of the industry, the State Government has established a 'Food Processing Training Centre' and 'Food Processing Training Hall’ at Imphal. A food Park is also being set up in the same place.
Handloom industry is flourishing since time immemorial as the largest cottage industry of this State. It is providing maximum employment opportunities in the state, particularly to women. The main handloom products of Manipur are sarees, bed sheets, curtains, fashion garments, scarves and pillow covers. Fabrics and Shawls of Manipur are also in great demand in the national as well as international market.
Major handloom production activities in Manipur are undertaken by three Government organizations –
- Manipur Development Society (MDS)
- Manipur Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation (MHHDC)
- Manipur State Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society (MSHWCS)
The handicraft industry of Manipur occupies a unique place amongst various crafts of the country and consists of cane and bamboo products as well as the pottery culture. The pottery culture of thestate is very old and due to the abundant availability of cane and bamboo, basketry has been a popular occupation of the people of Manipur. Besides, fishing equipments are also made of cane and bamboo. All such products are in great demand from both domestic as well as the international buyers.
Manipur, due to its wealth of flora and fauna is also known as a ‘flower on lofty heights’. Its breathtaking scenic beauty makes it a tourist’s paradise. The enchanting landscape includes rare species of flora and fauna, virgin forests, cascading rivers, hilly green landscape, and meandering streams. As an addition to these, there are various other tourist attractions which offer excellent opportunities for developing different types of tourism in the state.
The Government of Manipur has recognized the vast potential of the IT industry in the State and has accorded high priority to the Electronics and Information Technology sectors as a major thrust area of development. Also, the state has a vibrant manpower potential and qualitative work force which is ideally suited for such industries.
The Manipur Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. has been established to fill up the gaps for development of electronics and information technology based industries in the State. The areas in IT where investment opportunities exist are –
- Setting up of IT Parks, IT Enabled Service Centers and Information Kiosks
- Development of a backbone network "Manipur State Wide Area Network" (MANNET) for voice, data and video transmission and dissemination
- Issue of multi-function Electronic SMART cards to citizens
- IT literacy program in schools and colleges
- To create infrastructure throughout the state for promotion of distance learning through IT.