Arunachal Pradesh, inspite of its hilly terrain, provide enough business opportunities for the investors the world over. It is well endowed with abundant forest cover, minerals and hydel power resources, which can be utilised for setting up industrial units in the State. Major mineral deposits in the State are limestone, dolomite, quartzite, graphite, coal, marble, oil, natural gas, kyanite, mica, iron, copper, etc. Arunachal Pradesh's economy is primarily agrarian, wherein many agricultural and horticultural crops are grown. Its traditional handlooms and handicrafts are in demand worldwide. A wide variety of crafts such as weaving, painting, pottery, basketry, woodcarving, etc. are found among the people of Arunachal Pradesh. Most of the industries in the State are based on forest products such as timber, veneer and plywood. Besides, State's beautiful landscape and rich cultural heritage makes it an attractive tourist destination.
Agriculture and Horticulture
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of Arunachal Pradesh. It is mainly depended on 'shifting' or 'jhum' cultivation. The principal crops are rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, etc. and encouragement is being given to the cultivation of cash crops like potatoes, sugarcane, etc. Nearly 75% of the State's total workforce is engaged in agriculture and allied activities.
Horticulture is the backbone of the rural economy in Arunachal Pradesh. It has a vast potential, owing to good agro-climatic conditions and topography, for the development of varied varieties of:- tropical, sub-tropical and temperate fruits like apples, oranges and pineapples, etc; vegetables (including off season vegetables); spices; aromatic and medicinal plants; and mushrooms. Most of the land of the State is covered with dense and rich forest.
The agro and horticulture based industries are being developed on the following product lines, namely:-
· Fruit based alcoholic beverages
· Ginger processing/dehydration
· Apple cultivation and processing
· Processing of citrus fruits
· Tapioca production unit for production of sago and starch
· Cold storages
· Multipurpose fruit and vegetables processing; etc.
Cane and Bamboo
Cane and bamboo industry of Arunachal Pradesh is of very high standard. It holds utmost importance in meeting most of the domestic requirements of the people of the State. Hats of different sizes and shapes; various kinds of baskets; cane vessels; a wide variety of cane belts; elaborately woven brassier of cane and fibre; bamboo mugs with carvings; a variety of ornaments and necklaces; etc. are some of the special products of the industry. Of all these, the top most attraction are the baskets of the State, which are beautiful not only because of the fine texture but also because of the unusual shapes.
'Carpet Making' is one of the most important and specialty occupation in the State, especially in the districts of Tawang, West Kameng, Changlang and Upper Siang. The Arunachal Pradesh's carpet has been acclaimed to be of national and international repute, on the basis of quality of carpet weaving in the State. Carpets are woven with varied colours, designs (geometric, dragon, floral) and shapes. The other main products of the industry are wall hanging, cushion pad, telephone pad, floor covering, etc. With increase in demand, carpets have become a major item of trade as well as a major occupation for women folks of the State.
Arunachal Pradesh is emerging as a major tourist destination in the North-Eastern region. It is endowed with rich and large bio-diversity of flora and fauna. It is famous for its lush green forests, diverse wildlife, deep river valleys and beautiful plateaus. It is considered to be the 'nature's treasure trove' and home to wide varieties of orchids.
Arunachal Pradesh has tremendous scope for development of various types of tourism activities, such as cultural tourism, adventure tourism, historical tourism, wildlife tourism, nature based tourism and eco-tourism. Important places of tourist interest are:- Tawang, Dirang, Bomdila, Tipi, Itanagar Malinithan, Likabali, Pasighat, Along, Tezu, Miao, Roing, Daporijo
Parashurarn Kund and Khonsa. However, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh has been undertaking several developmental schemes in order to explore more places of tourist interests as well as provide infrastructural facilities such as construction of tourist lodges and huts, wayside amenities, development of lakes, provisions for adventure sports, etc at various places of tourist interests in near future.
Arunachal Pradesh, being a hilly terrain, requires adequate and efficient provision of well connected roadways, railways and airways network. Such infrastructural services are indispensable for integrating the State with the rest of the nation; facilitating trade and commerce; as well as improving the quality of life of the people. Besides, a sound telecom and power infrastructure is essential for socio-economic development of the State. As a result, the State Government has undertaken several infrastructural projects in order to attract significant investment into the State.
Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, is connected by a network of roads with all important cities and towns of the neighbouring States as well as with major States/ cities of the country. The State Transport buses are operating on daily basis or on every alternative days from Itanagar to some of the District Headquarters, where tourist centers are located, such as Guwahati (381 km), Shillong (Meghalaya), etc. Also, several private bus and taxi services to different routes/places are also available.
There is no main railway head in the State. The nearest railway station is at Harmoti in Assam, 23 km from Naharlagun and 33 km from Itanagar. There is a Arunachal Express operating daily from Kamakhya station (Maligaon).
The nearest airport is Tezpur in Assam, 216 km from Naharlagun and 226 km from Itanagar. Naharlagun is also connected by Helicopter service from Mohanbari (Dibrugarh) and Guwahati (Assam). However, air services are available from Delhi and Kolkata to Guwahati and Mohanbari. Remote areas of State like Tawang and Anini are also linked by helicopter services from Guwahati. Other places connected by air services are Pasighat, Roing, Khonsa, Changlang, Namsai, Ziro, Daporijo, Along and Yingkiong. In order to further develop the airways network in the State, efforts are being made for the construction of new helipads and landing grounds as well as for extension, renovation and maintenance of existing ones.
The total installed power generation capacity of the State has been around 162.43 MW, with the State's share in Central sector stations as 117 MW and State sector stations as 45.43 MW. The percentage of villages electrified has been 60.46% (as on March 31, 2005). Arunachal Pradesh ranks first in the country in terms of hydroelectric power potential. North Eastern Electric Power Corporation and Brahmaputra Board has taken up several steps for setting up some mega hydropower projects in Arunachal
Itanagar and all the District Headquarters are connected with the rest of the country and the world through telephone, STD, ISD, Telex ad fax facilities.