North-Eastern State Tripura and Itís Trade Condition ::By:Kiran Bhowmik

Tripura is one of the smallest states in terms of area in the north-east India. The total area of Tripura is 10,477 square kilometer. Geographically Tripura looks like a cashew nut. The state was not a part of the Indian Territory in the pre independence era. India got rid of the clutches of the British Empire, TRIPURA merged with the Indian soil. Erstwhile the state had four districts but recently eight districts twenty three Sub-divisions and forty-five blocks have also been introduced. Tripura also has one Tribal Areas Autonomous District    Council (TTAADC) which was set up in 1982 under the seventh schedule of the Constitution. The TTAADC covers about 2/3rd of the total area of the state.

Tripura shows its border with the neighborhood country Bangladesh in its north, south and west. The length of its international border with Bangladesh is 856 kilometer (84 percent of its total border), while it shares 53 kilometer border with Assam and 109 Kilometer border with Mizoram. Tripura is connected with the rest of the country by road, air and train.

The state is characterized by geographical isolation, poor infrastructure facilities. Communication bottleneck, inadequate exploitation of natural resources (national gas, rubber, forest etc); low capital formation, almost non-existence of industry and high level of incidences of poverty and un-employment.

In these aspects we can say that the north-eastern state of Tripura is an underdeveloped state. By the development of economics we can say that international trade plays a vital role in the process of economic development of underdeveloped economy. The classical and neoclassical economist also attach great importance to international trade .Renowned economist Robertson considers international trade as an engine of growth. We shall try to discuss how international trade helps in economic development of an underdeveloped economy.

An underdeveloped country’s economy may enjoy various benefits from international trade.

·    When a country is engaged in international trade, it specializes in the production of few goods and involves division of labor. If exports those commodities in which a country enjoys a comparative advantage.

·We know that an underdeveloped economy suffers from a vicious circle of poverty. One of the main reason s behind this vicious circle of poverty is the narrow internal market in the underdeveloped countries. Foreign trade or international transactions will help to break the vicious circle of poverty of an underdeveloped economy inducement to invest by extending the market. International trade helps to break the Nurksian vicious circle of poverty.

·Land and labor are under utilized in the traditional subsistence sector in an under developed economy. The opening up of the economy to international trade provides larger opportunities to produce more primary products for export. 

· According to Haberler, international trade increase international completion .It thus eliminates inefficient monopolies and creates an urge for increasing efficiency among the entrepreneurs. This also helps in economic development.

Thus, there are direct or indirect benefits of international trade. International trade extends the market, rises the scope of specialization, makes greater use of productive capacity, encourages inventions and innovation, help to borrow foreign capital and foreign technology, induces to increase efficiency, eliminates inefficient monopoly, creates new demand patterns and thus induces change in output  structure and soon.

Now if we look at the state of Tripura, we see that there is lots of possibility to take the international trade policy. International trade between India and Bangladesh started from 1995-96.Before international trade it was illegal trade. At present there are eight land custom stations in Tripura. These are Agartala, Sonamura, Belonia, Muhuripur, Khuwai, Dhalaighat, Manughat, and Raghnaghat.

There is a short distance between Tripura and important cities of Bangladesh. The average distance between Tripura and the capital of Bangladesh Dhaka, Cartogram and others important cities of Bangladesh is 150 kilometer.

Before 1960 and 1970 there was no international trade. At that time there was illegal international trade. Then Tripura illegally imported Fish,Jamdhani sharee ,Egg and Gold etc, from Bangladesh. Not only Tripura but also Bangladesh imported Sugar, Cloth, Jackfruit, Orange, Pineapple, Bamboo, and Hardware goods.

After 1995-96 Tripura and Bangladesh both have started international trade facilities. Now Tripura exports Rubber sheet ,  Orange , Jackfruit ,Pineapple , Fish of Andhra , Onion , Ginger , coal ,  etc, to Banglade

On the other hand Tripura imports Bricks , Jute , Stone chips , Fruit juice , Jamdhani sharee , Cosmetics , Dry fish , Raw material of cotton , Mineral water , Edible oil ,Petrochemicals ,  Potato chips , Synthetic piper , Biscuit , P V C pipe , Screw of iron , Toilet sop ,M S rod  , and etc  from Bangladesh.

 If we see the export and import of Tripura then we see that there is unfavorable trade for the state of Tripura. Because import goods of Tripura is more than export of Bangladesh.

Export and import view of Tripura can be express by the help of following table.


Export of Tripura(in corers)

Import of Tripura(in corers)

Balance of trade(Export - Import)in corers





1998- 99





























 Sources: (1) Govt. of Tripura, Economic Review of Tripura 2002-2003

                (2) Dainik Sambad; Date: 30-03-2006; Page: 5.

If we see the upper export and import year basis table then we see that the import is higher than export in the case of Tripura. The amount of deficit of international balance is increasingly increased in case of Tripura. In the year of 1995-96 the amount of deficit was 3.40 corers now it has increased 11.99 corers in 2004-05 financial year.

To conclude we can say that in the short run international trade between Tripura and Bangladesh is contrariety in the case of Tripura. However, ultimately this scenario will be changed. If the government policy of India “Purbe Takao” (see the east) materialized practically then the condition of Tripura’s industries structure will be changed. Despite of the existence of these types of policy Tripura will not be a developed state without industry or industrial products. It is important to increase or adopt the new industry for the development of Tripura. Any state or country cannot be a developed country without industry. If we cannot expand industry, market size, involvement of private entrepreneurs, it                                  is impossible to overcome the deficit of international trade in future. So we can say Tripura will be a developed state in future by international trade.

About The Author:Kiran Bhowmik is a student of Economics. He is pursuing his Master Degree in Economics in Tripura University. He stays at Udaipur. He writes on economics, current affair and politics. He has many published papers to his credit in prestigious journals. Writing is his hobby. You can contact him over the mobile number 8794219011 or you can mail him  He is the Executive News Editor of the prestigious and popular website of state

Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. 


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