Meghalaya Govt aims to double the tourist footfalls from Bangladesh in the next two years

Shillong, Nov 05: Meghalaya and Bangladesh share deep cultural, social, and economic relations. Meghalaya shares 443 km of border with Bangladesh. Over the years, there has been a fruitful exchange of goods, ideas and culture. Today, the border trade alone is valued at over 630 crores.

The State Government of Meghalaya hopes to build a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship that spans over multiple sectors with Bangladesh. Accordingly, a delegation led by the Hon’ble CM, Shri Conrad K. Sangma, is visiting Bangladesh from 5th-8th November. The purpose of the visit is to deepen the relationships across many sectors and to build networks that are mutually beneficial.

The delegation also comprises of  Cabinet Ministers Shri Banteidor Lyngdoh, Shri. Sniawbhalang Dhar and Shri. Lahkmen Rymbui, senior officials, entrepreneurs and tour operators. Meghalaya aspires to be a prosperous state by 2030. To achieve this goal, the state government has put together a clear strategy that capitalizes on our core strengths while developing new capabilities for growth and development.

Bangladesh is an important partner in our development journey. As the gateway to South East Asia, Bangladesh offers us hither to unexplored avenues of economic exchange ranging from tourism to power.

As a rapidly growing market, Bangladesh has been a destination for our exports including coal, limestone and boulder stone. The Government intends to further improve the border trade through the two-existing border Haats at Kalaichar and Balat and to set up new border Haats.

In terms of tourism, Meghalaya offers pristine hill stations, rich culture and music, exciting adventure sports and serene eco-tourism venues. By strengthening cooperation with tour operators of Meghalaya and Bangladesh and developing new historic circuits, Meghalaya Government aims to double the tourist footfalls from Bangladesh in the next two years.

Meghalaya is blessed with the abundance of natural resources and congenial environment for natural and organic farming. To build a resilient future for the farmers of the State, the Government aims to increase exports of niche agricultural and horticultural products to neighboring countries, especially Bangladesh.

Power Sector is another opportunity. Currently, Meghalaya has been able to tap only 10% of the 3400 MW hydropower potential. The plan is to significantly increase this capacity by 2022 with the advent of six new medium and large hydro-power projects. Bangladesh is an important potential market for power from Meghalaya.

Lastly, the excellent educational institutions of Shillong can be a transformative opportunity for a young country like Bangladesh which has nearly 30% of their population in the 10-24 age group.

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