ICC has long been working as a proactive Chamber of Commerce of the country. As one of the earliest voices of the organized business fraternity of the country, ICC has spent more than nine decades to facilitate the growth of industry and commerce since 1925. During this entire time span, ICC has been partnering with various developmental initiatives of Government of India and different state governments. Set up by a group of pioneering industrialists led by Mr. G D Birla, the Indian Chamber of Commerce was closely associated with the Indian Freedom Movement, as the first organised voice of indigenous Indian Industry.
With a unique and strategic location at the junction of many international borders, North Bengal has always been in Government of India’s priority list under the Act East Policy. The Region is also integrated to the Central Government’s development agenda and action plans under the Act East Policy. The Region comprises of six districts – Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Coochbihar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda – each district having distinguished character in terms of landscape, history and cultures. With its vast natural resources and fascinating natural beauty, almost every town of North Bengal is situated on the banks of a river – the Teesta, Mahananda, Balason, Karla and Torsa.
North Bengal has always been occupying the centre-stage in the growth narrative of West Bengal. Due to its strategic location, the region stands tall as the gateway to economically thriving South East Asian countries. More specifically tourism in North Bengal has always been very special due to its breathtaking natural beauties, exotic flora & fauna, picturesque snow clad mountains, rivers, springs etc. After full implementation of India-ASEAN FTA, the region is going to get even more prominence for its travel & tourism perspective.
The continuous endeavor of Government of India to effectively connect North Bengal with adjacent thriving regional value chains has reached the pinnacle under the regime of ‘Act East Policy’. The business fraternity has also duly recognized the massive business potentials of the region and is very keen to venture into areas like Food & Agro Industry, Travel and Tourism, Renewable Energy, Tea Industry, MSME Sector, Finance & Banking, Connectivity & Linkages, Technological Innovations, Infrastructure Development etc. I personally feel this can open a new opportunity for fulfillment of dual objective of ensuring ‘Inclusive Growth’ with significant ‘Employment Generation’.
North Bengal has immense potential for growth considering its geographical disposition and favorable climatic condition. The state government has realised the industrial importance of the region & already come up with a separate Ministry which is dedicated to the development of the region. The State Government has already come up with a definite plan for improving the industrial prospects of the region, with major focus on connectivity & linkage, Technology, Infrastructure, Tourism, development of Food & Agro industry and overall employment generation.
The State Government has already initiated a string of development projects for North Bengal with the insight of overall socio-economic uplift of the region. Eminently known as a business hub for tea, timber and tourism, North Bengal is raising hopes in a wide variety of emerging sectors such as real estate, IT, ITES, healthcare, education, manufacturing, etc. The Region is expanding its boundaries to reach the next level of development.