The Government of Assam took up an initiative to set up a Trade Centre in Guwahati and accordingly allotted 10 acres of land at Betkuchi. The Industry and Commerce Department in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) developed the project with an outlay of Rs. 20.38 Crores which included interiors and furnishings. The Department of Commerce advised the Government of Assam for formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under Section 25 of the Company Act. 1956 to manage the Trade Centre. As advised by the Ministry that SPV would be set up and function in the pattern of the Tamil Nadu Trade Promotion Organisation. The Government of Assam, as suggested by the Department of Commerce, was to hold 51% equity and rest of the equity was to be contributed equally by the other North Eastern States. Since response from other states for equity participation in the SPV was not forthcoming save the Government of Arunachal Pradesh . With a view to resolving the issue in the interest of making the Trade Centre operational as early as possible, Government of Assam proposed to contribute the entire equity for the SPV. The Department of Commerce, Government of India, in November, 2007 approved formation of a SPV under Section 25 of the Companies Act with contribution of Rs. 10.00 Crores equity by Government of Assam Rs. 8.4 Crores in cash and Rs. 1.6 Crores as the notional value of Land.
The Government of Assam decided to christen the Trade Centre as "Maniram Dewan Trade Centre" after one of the first and most illustrious tea planters of the state and a martyr of India's First War of Independence in 1857. The newly formed Company has been named as "Assam Trade Promotion Organisation" as approved by the Register of Companies.