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A World Bank report has projected strong long-term potential for India’s Northeast.

But it said the region needs “a little handholding” from the central government and viability-gap funding.

The bank has also suggested creating a ‘Brand Northeast’ for the promotion of products from the region.

“Peace is important for development, but we believe that the Northeast region which had remained isolated from the rest of India after partition has long-term economic prospect,” Sanjay Kathuria, World Bank’s lead economist and coordinator for regional integration, told mediapersons.

The report comes at a time when the North-eastern states are experiencing much turmoil over the new citizenship law.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has cancelled his India visit during which he was to hold the annual summit with Indian PM Narendra Modi in Guwahati between December 15-17.

The report published last week has identified four “high-impact” value chains in food and beverages, spices, bamboo and medical tourism. These sectors if developed, can boost employment and revenues and specially benefit women.

Northeast is far behind the mainland in average per-capita income, though it has a young and literate workforce and a favourable climatic zone which supports higher productivity.

The report aims at creating more employment opportunities, particularly for women who comprise a higher percentage of the labour force in the region.

The report takes into account the improving physical connectivity. in the region.


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