RAP blocking foreign investment in state

IMPHAL, 15th Dec: Considering the business need of the state and its entrepreneurs, president of All Manipur Entrepreneurs’ Association (AMEA) Sougaijam Rishikumar has drawn the attention of the government to remove ‘restricted area permit’ (RAP) system saying it deters foreigner investors to fund or set up industries in the state.
Addressing media persons at its Takyel Industrial Estate office Saturday, Rishikumar, while pointing out that China is a dominant country in international trade and business, observed that if entrepreneurs and businessmen of Manipur do not tie up with China then it will create hurdles to the state's business community from competing at the international level.
While expressing his desire that the central and state governments do away with the RAP system right away, he pointed out that Chinese investors may be invited to the state once the system is removed and get their expertise in the business sector.
Moreover, aspiring entrepreneurs of the state, who have lost business opportunities because due to the regulation, will be greatly relieved and instilled with fresh hope, he added.
Pointing out that entrepreneurs face a lot of troubles while visiting foreign countries because of poor air connectivity in the state, Rishikumar stressed the government introduce a dedicated airline for carrying out businesses. There is need for direct air connectivity with neighbouring countries like China, Myanmar, Thailand, etc., he added.
The AMEA president also urged the government to set up consular offices of East Asian countries at Imphal for facilitating smooth entry and export/ import of products along with stating that opening of foreign bank branches in Imphal will help cater to the increasing need for import and export.
Revealing that entrepreneurs of the state are planning to invest in Sagaing region of Myanmar, Rishikumar stated that following acceptance by a Sagaing team to invest as a joint venture, a delegation will visit the Myanmar province in January next. The entrepreneurs of Manipur will start tying up with some businesses in Sagaing division, he assured.
While pointing out that China produces high quality clothes and electronic items and a number of products suited with the state are available, he drew the attention of the government to the need for tying up with China in the field of trade and business. The work culture prevalent in China is responsible for its dominating the international market, he said.
The AMEA president stated that they will submit a memorandum to the government in this regard.
He also recalled that in 2016 the association in a joint venture with the government of India organised a ‘North East India Trade Fair’ in Myanmar to find out which type of business will prosper and in 2017, a delegation was sent to study possible business opportunities. It was discovered that smooth operation of business will not be possible at the moment even if business can be carried out, and in an attempt to explore possibilities with China, another 15-member delegation of AMEA visited Beijing, Guangzhou and Kunming from October 26 to November 7, he added while saying that it was discovered that Guangzhou has the highest potential with its huge development in industries sector.
Rishikumar went on to say that when the delegation visited the Guangzhou Fair Exhibition, they were convinced that Manipur will prosper if they tie up with China, where many advanced technologies are available. Revealing that the entrepreneurs have started tying up with some businesses in Guangzhou, the AMEA president observed that a future of business with Guangzhou will be opened.
Rishikumar further said with an aim to build confidence and goodwill, the association is planning to send local entrepreneurs for the large scale exhibition which will be held at Kunming in June next year.
The AMEA president, who informed that a delegation from Kunming will be visiting a fair at West Bengal in February, expressed his desire to invite the delegation to Manipur. But the RAP system remains a barrier on their entry, he added.
Further reiterating that the RAP system is posing as serious hurdle towards strengthening business line, Rishikumar appealed to the government to remove the system to facilitate the smooth entry of investors.

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