Assam is located in the northeast of India. The state shares its borders with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, and West Bengal. The state shares international borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Kingdom of Bhutan. Assam is India's gateway to northeast and acts as a vital link for trade with Southeast Asian countries. The state is known for its tea, petroleum resources, muga silk and biodiversity. It is also becoming an increasingly popular destination for wildlife tourism.
The state is rich in water resources and has vast tracts of fertile land. Assam is also the third-largest producer of petroleum and natural gas in the country and has ample reserves of limestone. With its five national parks and 18 wildlife sanctuaries, the state is a biodiversity hotspot. Other potential areas of investment include power and energy, mineral-based industries, tourism, and crude oil refining.
Assam has adopted numerous investor-friendly policies to attract investments and accelerate industrial development. Key areas of focus include the IT, tourism, and power sector along with several other initiatives such as the North East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) 2007 and the Industrial and Investment Policy 2014. Assam stood 22nd among Indian states in rankings based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation, according to a study by the World Bank and KPMG. The Government has set a target to generate 6,500-megawatt (MW) power in the state by 2030.
At current prices, Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Assam is estimated to reach Rs. 4.09 trillion (US$ 55.14 billion) in 2020-21. The GSDP of the state grew at a CAGR (in Rs.) of 12.38% between 2015-16 and 2020-21.
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the cumulative FDI inflows in Assam were valued at US$ 10.49 million between October 2019 and December 2020.
Exports from the state stood at US$ 341.59 million in FY21 (until January 2021). Assam exported key items such as tea, petroleum products, coal, coke and briquettes and other products. In FY21 (until January 2021), the total tea exports from Assam accounted for US$ 217.89 million, which was 64% of the total export.
- As per the press meeting held at the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) office in May 2021, 48 kms of new railway line between Abhayapuri and Gauripur in Dhubri district is expected to be inaugurated next month after getting green signal from the CRS.
- In February 2021, India and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) signed a US$ 304 million loan agreement for the Assam Intra-State Transmission System Enhancement Project to improve reliability, capacity and security of the power transmission network in the northeastern state. The project aims to strengthen Assam's electricity transmission system by constructing 10 transmission substations and laying transmission lines with the associated infrastructure.
- In February 2021, the Chief Minister of Assam, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal, laid the foundation stone of Assam Skill University at Mangaldoi, Darrang. The university will provide skill education to the youth of India with a specific focus on Assam, and North Eastern region. This project is scheduled to be completed by September 2026. The Government of Assam is exploring partnership arrangements with countries such as Singapore, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, Israel, Japan and the UK for providing sector-specific expertise to this university.
- In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched the ‘Asom Mala’ programme in Dhekiajuli of Sonitpur district with the intention to enhance the state's road infrastructure, boost economic progress and improve connectivity.
- In January 2021, BCPL Railway Infrastructure received a new order worth Rs. 516.04 million (US$ 6.96 million) for supply, erection, testing and commissioning of 25KV, 50HZ single phase traction overhead equipment (OHE).
- In March 2021, BCPL Railway Infrastructure received a LOA (Letter of Authority) from Railway Vikas Nigam for deployment of 25KV OHE Gang to complete residual overhead (OHE) adjustment works and provision of bonding/earthing work and safety-related work in section of Sreerampur Assam - Fakiragram of NF (Northeast Frontier) Railway.
- The project, which is expected to be completed over 45 days, has added Rs. 165 crore to the company’s orderbook.
- In October 2020, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, laid foundation stones for the country's first multimodal logistic park in Assam. The park worth Rs. 693.97 crore (US$ 93.87 million) would provide direct air, road, rail and waterway connectivity to citizens. It will be established under the government’s ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ initiative.
- Government introduced Jyotisman Asom scheme under Budget 2020-21 to provide free electricity to all households whose monthly electricity consumption is up to 30 units.
- Under State Budget 2020-21, Government announced setting up of five polytechnics, seven new Government colleges, two medical colleges, one ayurvedic college, one new law college and new university Sati Sadhoni Rayjik Vishwavidyalaya.
- Government of Assam has started the project preparatory activities for the World Bank funded Inland Water Project under the Inland Water Transport Department at Rs. 975 crore (US$ 150.60) which will help realise the huge untapped potential in this sector.
- Budget 2019-20 states that over 22,000 beneficiaries have been provided relief under the Atal-Amrit Abhiyan health insurance scheme which has been allocated Rs. 200 crore (US$ 28.62 million) for financial year 2019-20.
- Tea: Between January 2021 and April 2021, production of tea in the state stood at 51.77 million kgs, contributing 29.82% to the total tea production in India. Assam’s Labour and Tea Tribes Welfare Minister, Mr. Sanjay Kishan, informed that COVID-19 care centres have been set up in >270 tea gardens. As of May 2021, 27,000 tea garden workers have been given the first dose of vaccination and 2,400 have been given the second dose. The government is speeding up the process with offline, on-the-spot registration facility.
- Agriculture and Allies: In 2019-20, the total production of horticulture crops in the state was expected to be 6876.40 thousand metric tonnes and area under production was 704.82 thousand hectares. In 2019-20, the total production of vegetables and fruits in the state was estimated at 3673.88 thousand metric tonnes and 2562.30 thousand metric tonnes, respectively.
To revive the agricultural sector and double farmer incomes by 2022, the state government launched the ‘Assam Tractor Distribution’ scheme, under the Chief Minister’s Village Development Scheme (CMSGUY) for farmers.
- Sericulture: Assam enjoys global monopoly in terms of Muga silk (also known as golden silk) production. The state accounts for around 95% of global Muga production. Moreover, Assam is the country’s major Eri silk producer (accounts for 65% of the country’s Eri silk production). Under State Budget 2020-21, Government allocated Rs. 289 crore (US$ 41.35 million) for the Handloom Textiles and Sericulture Department.
- Health: In May 2021, Deputy Commissioner Ms. Keerthi Jalli inaugurated the Arogya Cachar Scheme, a centralized public grievance redressal system for all COVID-19 needs even during late nights. In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi laid the foundation stones for medical colleges and hospitals in Biswanath and Charaideo. This will boost Assam’s health infrastructure, which will not only benefit the state but also the entire Northeast.
- Tourism: In 2019 (as of December 2019), 4.7 million tourists arrived in Assam.
Note: @ - Includes Fruits, Vegetables, Spices, Honey, Plantation, Aromatic and Flowers, * - As per 3rd Advance Estimate, ^-Provisional, ** - Including Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Assam and Tripura