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The North East region is well endowed
with natural resources, like oil and gas, agro-horticultural resources, mineral
deposits, immense hydro-electric potential and significant forest resources.

Economy of the region is largely
agrarian in nature with over 70% of the population engaged in agriculture for
livelihood, service sector comes next and the manufacturing sector is still at
a new-born stage.7

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But after so many years of formation, the North East
remains still backward and stagnant. It critically lacks internal links to the rest of India.
Its prospects for development are linked with India’s Look East Policy, yet it
has so far gained minimal benefit; it remains under ‘economic imprisonment’
within its international frontiers. Yet, in a differently founded geo-strategic
imagination, India’s NE could be a potential economic and strategic
‘hub’, conjoining the conventionally separated geographical regions of South,
Southeast and East Asia.8

NER came to focus within the
framework of India’s Look East Policy only in its second phase because before
that NER or for that matter India did not have land contiguity with ASEAN. It
is only after Myanmar Joining ASEAN in 1997 that contiguity was established and
it was through NER. Now it has been 20 years that NER is in the scheme of
things of India’s Look/Act East Policy but there have not been any noticeable dividends
for NER from this. If NER is to be developed seriously then different
mechanisms need to be worked on simultaneously to supplement or complement the
Act East Policy.9

 Hence, the development in more and more sub
regional, bi-lateral and multilateral projects would help north eastern India
to overcome the steadiness and backwardness that it is facing for so many years.
Here, we will discuss about such a sub-regional arrangement amongst the few. It
is the BCIM economic corridor initiative. The idea of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar
(BCIM) which originated in 1999 from Kunming as the Kunming initiative and
later evolved as BCIM economic corridor, has got the north-eastern India involved
in the project

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