The Telegraph
Thursday , April 24 , 2014
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Kunming Bengal plan

Li Wenrong in Calcutta on Wednesday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta, April 23: Investors from Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province, are actively considering a proposal to set up an electric car unit in Bengal.

Though a concrete proposal is yet to take shape, top officials from Kunming are open to the idea of negotiating with the Bengal government after the elections. The proposed unit will manufacture battery-driven cars.

The proximity of Bengal to Yunnan — it takes just two-and-a-half hours to fly to Kunming from Calcutta — provides scope for greater trade between them.

Possibilities of trade exist in the areas of ship building, metal manufacturing, agriculture and food processing, non-conventional energy, textile, leather, tea and jute products .

“Kunming and Calcutta are both important regional cities. Transportation is our first advantage with direct daily flights since 2007,” said Li Wenrong, mayor of Kunming.

“India has advantages in ship building, metals manufacturing and textiles. Kunming has advantages in tourism, medicine manufacturing and machine manufacturing. These advantages have provided good conditions for business and entrepreneurship to carry out co-operation with each other,” he said at a session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

“We have a plan in the electric automobiles industry,” added Lyu Tianyun, director (foreign affairs & overseas Chinese affairs office), Kunming Municipal People’s Government.

The tourism departments of Bengal and Yunnan are formulating joint travel packages. A number of MoUs have also been signed by the tea boards of Yunnan and India as well as between private players.