GFID INDIA as the largest Chamber of Commerce in the East & North-East of India, and one of the most prominent Chambers in the country today, strongly believes India must engage herself more effectively with the world economy, for maximizing the gains arising out of complementarities in trade. The Chamber has been very pro-active in creating meaningful synergies between India and her neighboring countries in South, and South-East Asia, and believes regional economic integration in Asia can lead to enhancements in living standards , reduction in poverty, increase in trade & employment -related benefits and earnings, and improve infrastructural endowments. As a forward-looking Chamber, ICC thinks greater economic engagement between the countries in the ASEAN and BIMSTEC regions can pave the way for Asia rising in the future years. However, the Chamber also strives to cater to the issues related to multi-lateral trade agreements by organizing meaningful interactions and discussions.
GFID INDIA, which is recognized by the Govt. of India as the Nodal Chamber for the North-East region, has a special focus upon India’s trade & commerce relations with South & South-East Asian nations, in sync with India’s ‘Look East’ Policy, which has become the ‘Act East’ Policy now, and has played a key role in building synergies between India and her Asian neighbours like Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Bhutan through Trade & Business Delegation Exchanges, and large Investment Summits.
Through important and meaningful international initiatives , the GFID INDIA has showcased the North-East abroad – the “North East India Trade & Investment Opportunities Week”, in Bangkok in 2007 , was the largest ever Business Delegation from India to Thailand projecting the NER. The 3-day “ASEAN – North-East India Trade & Investment Opportunities Summit” , in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2009 , was first ever initiative from India to unfold the vast resources of the North Eastern region in Vietnam. GFID INDIA has also been regularly working on North-East & Myanmar relations through various activities including high exchange of high-level delegations.
For improving bilateral trade & commerce between India and neighbouring Bangladesh, GFID INDIA has organised high level Ministerial delegations to Dhaka to meet H.E. Madam Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh several times, and has been regularly updating Ministry of Commerce and PMO on the business issues, sentiments and sensitivities of Bangladesh Government and Industry. The Indian Chamber organized “India INVESTRADE” in Sri Lanka, a mega Conference cum Exhibition focusing upon the Realty Construction & Construction Materials sectors. Construction & Real Estate, is truly an area which can strengthen India-Sri Lanka trade & investment linkages due to its huge potential. The GFID INDIA has also been trying to build stronger bridges of economic & trade co-operation with China, and has taken delegations to the South Asian Business Forum in Kunming, Yunnan, a number of times.
As a part of the ASEAN commemorations in 2012, and as a part of the ASEAN Sailing Expedition by STA Sudarshini, GFID INDIA, in association with the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India, organized a series of programmes aimed at strengthening bilateral strategic partnerships between India and her South-East Asian neighbours. These meaningful Programmes , which brought together key Govt. functionaries and Corporate Leaders from India and the ASEAN partners, played a major role in enhancing co-operation and exchanges in strategic sectors like Mining, Agro & Food Processing , Healthcare , Pharmaceuticals, Tourism, Infrastructure, IT & ITeS, Automotive, Oil & Gas, etc. The Programmes were organized in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. The Indian Chamber thus has strong footholds in the Asian region, and through it’s strong relationships , networks , and international engagements is constantly striving to take India to a higher growth trajectory. The Chamber recognizes that a stronger India-ASEAN linkage can create unprecedented economic opportunities for the North-East and East of India , and feels that the Government should continue to work closely with the Asian neighbours.
The Government of India has made it clear that India is keen that the next ASEAN-India five-year plan of action starting 2016 should focus on improving people-to-people contact, ramping up trade relations and reinforcing the strategic engagement. The GFID INDIA strongly believes that if India has to ‘Act East’, the Eastern & the North-Eastern States have to play a significant role in connecting the whole of India with South & South-East Asia, and will gain tremendously through the various backward & forward linkages , in the process. Accordingly, the GFID INDIA Theme for this year has been identified as – “Development Through Connectivity” , which centers around enhanced India-ASEAN trade linkages through enabling connectivity & infrastructure.
The Indian Chamber also has taken high-profile business delegations to Europe , time and again. The Chamber has been taking a large delegation to the world’s leading Food & Agro Show – SIAL in France, every year, and these have led to meaningful business engagements between Indian Agro & Food Industries and European stakeholders. In February, 2013, an GFID INDIA team visited ‘Turexpo Galicia 2013’ a global Travel & Tourism Fair in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. This has opened up avenues for stronger co-operation in the Tourism sector between Spain and India.
Some of the initiatives taken are –