Yunnan, West Bengal the key drivers for BCIM

The Chinese Province of Yunnan and the Indian State of West Bengal, both seeking fresh business opportunities, are imparting a new dynamic to the formation of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor, which now appears to be finding greater support in New Delhi.

“Yunnan and West Bengal are the engines of the (BCIM) corridor,” said Ashok Kantha, India’s Ambassador to China, during a speech at the India-China Economic and Tourism Cooperation Forum. Mr. Kantha’s remarks illustrated the emergence of subaltern diplomacy where Indian States and Chinese Provinces are imparting the primary impulse for change.

“I am particularly pleased to recognise the growing role of States and Provinces in taking forward our economic agenda,” Mr. Kantha observed.

Change from below

He pointed to the Provincial Leaders’ Forum, formed last month during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China, which linked Indian States and Chinese Provinces as a key mechanism for bringing about change from below.

The Yunnan-West Bengal tie-up follows a similar initiative by Guizhou International, a Chinese company based in the Province of Guizhou that is investing in a $3.5-billion project in the Kakinada Special Economic Zone in Andhra Pradesh. Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh also seemed upbeat about the prospects of the BCIM. He pointed out during his keynote speech that the BCIM initiative was “in sync” with India’s thrust on accelerated development of infrastructure, which included construction of railways, industrial corridors and smart cities.

Flagship projects

He stressed that successful emergence of “flagship projects” was now necessary to change public perceptions about the China-India economic partnership.

Duan Yueqing, Director General of the Yunnan Tourism Development Commission, told The Hindu that unlike the past, when Myanmar and Bangladesh, along with China, had shown greater enthusiasm, the dynamic was now changing. India, in partnership with Beijing, was showing signs of leading the way to the development of the BCIM. Mr. Duan also advocated the establishment of a BCIM tourism zone built around new roads, railway projects, and new air routes that would link the four countries with adequate transport infrastructure.

Besides, the Chinese side is also advocating the emergence of a BCIM Industrial Cooperation Zone, which will serve as the nodal-hub for steering development along the entire corridor.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2021 10:25:20 PM |

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