Assam is the largest economy in the North East region, along with that the state is also the most industrially advanced state in the region. Being the most easily accessible state in the northeast makes trade with Assam more attractive to the rest of the country hence its industrial development and larger economy.
A quarter of the state is under forest cover and so natural resources are in abundance. Natural resources such are natural oil and gas are also available in Assam and present potential investment opportunities. Tea from Assam is a well recognised product the world over.
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The tea industry is a major industry in the state with over 17 per cent of the workers in Assam being engaged in it. Assam's mass tea production accounts for 55 per cent of the tea produced in India and about one-sixth of the tea produced in the world. From the large amounts of tea cultivated on average, 196 million kg is exported per year. The state government established the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre in 1970 for better marketing of the tea produced in the region. The tea auction centre is among the worlds largest crush, tear and curl (CTC) centres and the world's second-largest, after Colombo, in terms of total tea handled. The major companies involved in the tea industry present in the state include;
- Assam tea corporation
- Assam Company India Limited
- Tata Tea Limited
- Williamson Magor Group
- Apeejay Tea
- McLeod Russel.
Assam has over 1.3 billion tonnes of crude oil and 156 billion cubic metric tonnes of natural gas reserves. The state also has a substantial reserve of coal bed methane (CBM). The state has about 1,200 million metric tonnes (MT) of coal reserves. The large natural reserves in the state allow Assam to account for over 15 per cent of India's total crude output. Many of the crude oil wells also produce natural gas resulting in a total production of almost 50 per cent of India's on shore gas production. Along with crude oil and natural gas there is also an abundant supply of coal available in the state with a proved coal reserve of almost 340 million tonnes. Amongst the companies present in the state, involved in the energy sector, are;
- Bongaigaon Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited (BRPL)
- Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC)
- Oil India Limited (OIL)
- Assam Gas Company Limited (AGCL)
- Coal India Limited (CIL.
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Limestone and Cement
Assam is well known for its high quality limestone and so is a favourable location for cement companies to have their factories. Major cement manufacturers such as the Cement Corporation of India Limited and Barak Valley Cement both manufacture the majority of their produce in Assam.
Agriculture and Horticulture
Assam is home to a variety of medicinal herbs and plants, there are over 300 recognised types of medicinal herbs and plants found in abundance throughout the state. It is estimated that only 5 to 10 per cent of the plants and herbs have been commercially exploited, offering vast potential for further investment.
Agriculture accounts for over a third of Assam's income and employs 69 per cent of the workforce. Agriculture and allied activities contribute around 40 per cent to the state's GDP.
The favourable climatic conditions support cultivation of a wide range of horticultural crops including plantation crops and various fruits.
Assam has recently become a tourist hotspot amongst nature lovers, wildlife enthusiast, leisure tourists, ornithologists and photographers due to it vast variety of wild life and forestry. In 2008 Assam was visited by 3.1 million tourists, the highest in the North eastern States
Forest resources and Sericulture
Almost a quarter of Assam is under forest cover. Forests are a good reserve of commercially useful produce such as timber, bamboo, stone, and cane. The state government recently started an initiative to promote bamboo as an alternative to wood.
The climate and general environment of Assam is well-suited for sericulture. There are many varieties of silk available in the state, including the more traditional types such as eri and muga. Assam contributes 99 per cent of the total muga produced in the country, and produces 10 percent of the total natural silks of India.
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Assam's exports increased at a CAGR of about 15.9 per cent between 2001-02 and 2008-09.
In 2008-09, the state's major exports were chemicals, wood products and tea. According to Tea Board of India, Assam exported about 200 million kg of tea in 2008-09.
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More Information on Assam
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