Kolkata: The central government should consider creating a brand for the northeast to better leverage the potential of the region, the World Bank said.

The 'brand northeast' should be built on elements such as healthy living, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and the service sector, a World Bank study has suggested.

"The study shows agriculture and service sectors have the greatest potential in the northeast. The relative comparative advantage of the region can be harnessed in fruits and vegetables, spices, bamboo and medical tourism," Sanjay Kathuria, lead economist and coordinator of the World Bank, told media on Thursday.

Kathuria said for promoting these sectors, there is a need for better coordination among state governments of the northeast and creation of a brand for the region.

"The initiative will require coordination among state governments of the region which can best be done by DoNER Ministry and the North East Council (NEC)," he said.

Kathuria said while global branding exercise could be leveraged for promoting individual products from the region, cluster promotional activities for specific sectors and value chains will further help in the efforts.

The branding campaign should also stress on the intrinsic strengths of the region, he said.

The World Bank official said the objective is to create more employment opportunities, particularly for women and the poor.

"This is particularly because women comprise a high percentage of the labour force in the northeast," he said.

Kathuria also stressed on the need for improved connectivity between the northeastern states and other parts of India.
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