The Telegraph
Saturday , June 7 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

China roots for economic corridor

Yang, Hasina: Action time

Kunming (China), June 6: China has pitched for speeding up the proposed land route connecting India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China — from Calcutta to Kunming.

Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang has assigned utmost importance to the proposed route to grow trade and investment. The proposal was endorsed by Bangladesh at the opening ceremony of the 2nd China-South Asia Exposition here today.

The land route — or the Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor — will serve as an alternative all-weather route to the largely unviable Nathu La Pass to spur trade between India and China.

“We should now start work on Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor. This will further boost our trade ties with South Asia. There is need for accelerating ground work for the corridor. We will expand co-operation with the South Asian countries and support their economic development. China will encourage its companies to expand operations in South Asia,” Yang said.

Support will be extended to Chinese companies investing in textiles, electronics and modern technologies such as telecommunications. He said joint industrial clusters with South Asian countries could strengthen economic growth.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was present at the event, said, “Since centuries, Bangladesh and the Yunnan province of China were connected by the south-western Silk Route. Today, direct flights connect Dhaka and Kunming. There is now a growing demand that the connectivity be strengthened by road and railway links.”

Hasina said she believed that the BCIM corridor was an encouraging development and would bring the two countries closer and stimulate greater co-operation in all spheres of bilateral relations.

The corridor is envisaged to pass through Calcutta, Dhaka, Chittagong, Mandalay in Myanmar and Kunming.

The author is on a sponsored trip to Kunming.