The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar is a long and narrow broken chain of islands, lying east of the Indian mainland, in the Bay of Bengal. It is situated between 6 degree to 14 degree North Latitude and 92 degree to 94 degree East Longitude, with an area of approximately 8249 sq km and a population of 0.36 million. The territory consists of two distinct groups of islands i.e. Andaman and Nicobar. There are more than 3000 islands, islets and rocks in the archipelago while only about 300 of them are of appreciable size. Of these only 39 islands are inhabited. The northern most point is ‘Landfall island’ which is 901 kms away from the mouth of Hoogly river and about 190kms from Burma. The southern-most island is ‘Great Nicobar’, the southern-most tip of which ‘Pygmalian Point’ now ‘Indira Point’ is about 150 kms away from Indonesia.
Forest: 92% of the area is covered with Forest.
Fisheries(Marine): Andaman & Nicobar Islands is bestowed with abundant marine resources having a coastline of 1912 kms. The estimated marine potential of the Islands is 2.44 lakh tones which remains optimally untapped.
Agro based Products: The major agricultural products of the island are Arecanut, Coconut & fruits like Banana, Mango, Papaya etc. Apart from this spices like Clove, Pepper, Cinnamon are also grown.
Industrial Base: The Industrial base of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands consists mainly of small scale & tiny industries which are yet to make a tangible dent in their contribution to the national economy. The Industries in the region are mainly timber & agro based. The vast stretches of the sea around the region speak widely about the hidden marine resources, which are yet to be optimally exploited.
· Vast marine potential with 3 lakhs sq. km Exclusive Economic Zone.
· One of the best possible subtropical and tropical climate.
· Nearer to International Trade Corridor indicating potential for containers port.
· Negligible Industrial dispute.
· High Literacy rate.
· No pollution.
· Increased employment opportunities in International Trade.
· Web for International Trade Corridor.
· Food Products basket of Marine Products for mainland and Exports.
· Excellent opportunities for growing export oriented crops.
· Avenues for starting agro based and food processing Industries.
· Three are 1531 Small Scale Industries in the U.T. of A & N Islands as on 31.03.2003.
· There are no large scale Industries.
· There are twelve 100% EOU and nine IEMS filed their application with SIA, New Delhi Only two 100% EOUs are functioning i.e. M/s Islander Marine Products in the private sector and M/s Andaman Fisheries Ltd. a joint venture of Govt. exporting frozen fish and shrimps / prawns. M/s Surya Chakra Power Corporation in the private sector is generating 20 MW of power.
· The Department has identified Tourism, IT, Fisheries, Coir and Handicrafts as Focused areas for promotion of Industries in the Islands.
Focused areas for promotion of Industrial Development:
The broad areas / sectors identified for Industrial Development in the Island are:
· High value added Agro Products
· Hydro Carbon Energy
· Shipping Sectors including Transshipment ports
· Service Industry
(From this issue we start a monthly series on investment potential in states of India.).