Meghalaya is one of the states in India covering an area of approximately 22,429 square kilometres, out of this area about 70% of the state is forested. The Meghalaya subtropical forests eco region encompasses the state; its mountain forests are distinct from the lowland tropical forests to the north and south. Meghalaya has predominantly an agrarian economy with a significant commercial forestry industry. Meghalaya's gross state domestic product for 2012 was estimated at 16,173 crore (US$2.5 billion) in current prices. The state is geologically rich in minerals. The state has about 1,170 km (730 mi) of national highways. It is also a major logistical centre for trade with Bangladesh. Meghalaya has a ideal location advantage for South East Asia Market. The neighbouring countries of India viz Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar has been involve with the state for business and commerce. It has a huge potential to reach other south asian countries as well. Meghalaya is also geographically rich in minerals and has the potential for industrial setups based on these mineral resources. Above all the Meghalaya Industrial Policy is framed for the ease of doing business and increase trade and commerce. The added advantage being the climate in Meghalaya is good for the development of electronics chips. Types of Industry that can be ideally setup in the state are Mineral based Industry, Horticulture and Agro-Based Industry, Electronics and Information Technology, Export Oriented Units, Tourism and besides these the recent development in the state has seen many upcoming service sectors on customer service, real estate’s etc. The Department of Commerce and Industries provides various types of State Incentives for the established Industrial Setup. To Summarize the strengths of Meghalaya:-
- Stable political environment.
- Strong GSDP growth in last few years.
- Availability of literate and trainable human resources.
- Large English speaking population.
- The region has a very well performing gender development index
- Several tourist attractions
- Presence of an ethnic tribal culture each with unique customs and traditions, which can attract tourists.
- Rich bamboo and forest reserves.
- Extensive mineral resources including coal and limestone.
- Abundant Agriculture and horticulture resources.
- Handloom and weaving is a skill acquired by the local community
- High Hydro-power availability.
- Ideal climate conditions
- Safe and clean, pollution free environment
- Reasonably good existing base of micro enterprises in traditional handicraft, handloom, agricultural and horticultural units.
Meghalaya is connected to other parts of India through Roads, Railway and Airways
Meghalaya has a road network of around 7,633 km, out of which 3,691 km is black-topped and the remaining 3942 km is gravelled. The state has couple of national highways running through it viz NH 40, NH 44, NH 51 and NH 62.
Meghalaya has a railhead at Mendipathar and regular train service connecting Mendipathar in Meghalaya and Guwahati in Assam. Guwahati is the nearest major railway station connecting the north-east region with the rest of the country through a broad gauge track network.
The state has an airport at Umroi which is at a distance of 30 kilometres from Shillong. There is also a helicopter service connecting Shillong to Guwahati and Tura. Baljek Airport near Tura became operational in 2008. Other nearby airports are in Assam, Borjhar, Guwahati airport, about 124 kilometres (77 mi) from Shillong.