“The Indian Chamber of Commerce proposes “West Bengal-Yunnan Cooperation Forum””
In an Exclusive Business Seminar with Hon’ble Governor of Yunnan, H.E. Mr. Li Jiheng, organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce today in Kolkata, the Indian Chamber of Commerce proposes to form “West Bengal-Yunnan Cooperation Forum” in collaboration with Yunnan Government that would disseminate necessary information both ways. ICC has further decided to work on a white paper on complementary sectors of Yunnan and Bengal. The initiatives are aimed at shoring up business and cultural ties between West Bengal and Yunnan province in China.
Mr Jiheng called for a greater Yunnan-Bengal trade ties through BCIM cooperation. Elaborating on economic indicators of Yunnan province, Mr Jiheng shared that last year Yunnan’s GDP touched USD 192.1 billion with Y-O-Y growth rate of 12.1% with inflation at 3.5% and unemployment rate below 4%. With conducive business environment including Industrial Parks, easy custom clearance and robust transport infrastructure, the province is ready to usher in large scale investment from West Bengal and India. The total length of expressways is 3200 Km which will touch 4500 Km in next 3 years while the total length of railways is 3000 Km that would reach 4000 Km in next 3 years. The province has a number of civil airports while Kunming International Airport is the fourth largest airport in the country. Last year the Airport registered gross footfall of 26 million and is expected to touch 30 million this year.
While interacting with investors present in the forum, Mr Jiheng welcomed all of them to be present at 2nd South Asia-China Expo, Kunming and 22nd Kunming Fair to be held in June. He requested investors to explore the business opportunities and provide with the suggestions and feedback to improve bilateral cooperation between the two regions.
The prospect of tourism was also discussed in detail in the forum. Yunnan boasts of 5 UNESCO cites and there is a compelling need to promote Yunnan amongst the travel freak Bengalis. Similarly, Govt of China should also promote the rich cultural heritage and natural landscape of West Bengal amongst Chinese, observed Mr Jiheng.
Mr M K Saharia, Chairman, CPICC & Chairman, North East Initiative, ICC, observed that India- China trade volume, which grew at a CAGR of 40% in last decade and touched $73 billion USD, is a tip of the iceberg. Although India and China have significant level of Technology transfer in fields like climate change, agriculture and health, the volume of Chinese investment is very low despite the fact that India flaunts a transparent FDI policy regime. Mr. Saharia urged to take a step ahead and opined that Mayors of Kolkata and Yunnan should ink deals identifying areas of mutual cooperation. Apart from trade and investment, Bengal-Yunnan cooperation has enormous scope to evolve around education, healthcare and culture, observed Mr Saharia.
Stressing on the fact that one-third of global population live in China and India together, Mr Shrivardhan Goenka, President, Indian Chamber of Commerce, opined that cooperation in strategic areas like agriculture with focus on world famous pure tea and Arabica coffee of Yunnan can be mutually gainful.
Highlighting the similar kind of advantages shared by Kunming and Kolkata like each of them being the transit route of the entire region, Mr Sanjay Budhia, Past President, Indian Chamber of Commerce, stressed on taping the locational advantages the sister cities offer.
The programme was also graced by the presence of H.E. Mr Wang Xufeng, Hon’ble Consul General of China in Kolkata, Consulate General of the Peoples’ Republic of China, Mr Roopen Roy, Senior Vice President, Indian Chamber of Commerce, amongst others.
To conclude, Mr Budhia proposed a Vote of Thanks.
March 29, 2014