Developmental efforts in Manipur, by and large, have primarily been directed towards social services sector. The geographical location of the State, lack of raw material and inadequacy in infrastructure like power, roads, water and market have kept industrial development at lower level. Concurrently, the traditional cottage and village industries and various small scale units in manufacturing and service sectors which do not require large investment and sophisticated machinery, have stood the test of time because of abundance of local demand, skill, manpower and participation.
To make good the infrastructural bottleneck, Government has given a new thrust in this area.
However, Manipur although bottled up in the North Eastern corner of India, is gradually emerging as an important gateway for external trade. International imagination has been excited of a South Asia Development Triangle - including eastern and North - eastern India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh - an extension of which within a larger growth quadrant takes in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and South-west China along the old Burma Road and the proposed Trans-Asian Highway and Railway. With this in the backdrop, the restoration of Indo-Myanmar Border Trade via Moreh in Manipur and
the Ganga Treaty with Bangladesh herald a new chapter for international trade through Manipur with South-East Asian countries. An ever widening market for industrial products in the State would warrant greater investments to precast new industries in Manipur even without awaiting the international trade route to develop fully. Such industries should obviously be based either on the wider demand or the availability of raw materials locally, or both. Given the high level of investment and management capability, the enterprises could well flourish with adequate return.
The varied climate and the agro-climatic zones in the State affords wide range of agricultural and horticultural crop and forest produce. These can well be utilised by setting up suitable industries.
With this expose‚ in the background, a modest attempt follows which gives an overview of Manipur touching upon some selected features including the land, its people and the state of economy, and then with the new Government
endeavour for development and some accounts on a few successful units, etc., and further to identify a few techno-economically viable industries. This may help take investment decisions. Appropriate project studies in detail as are contemplated follows up. The State Government will make every possible endeavour to participate in the venture.