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Consul General Ma Zhanwu Discusses China-Bengal Ties with BCCI Board

On 20 December 2017, Mr. Ma Zhanwu, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kolkata, discussed economic and trade ties between China and West Bengal, India with the Board of Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). About 60 BCCI members were present, including Mr. Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, President of BCCI and Founder & CEO of Bandhan Bank, Mr. Indrajit Sen, President Designate of BCCI and Mr. Subhodip Ghosh, Director General of BCCI.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ma shared his perception of Kolkata as the city of joy, knowledge and prosperity, and said that in the coming years Kolkata will become one of the top metropolitan cities in the world.

Mr. Ma, then shared a few important points on China-Bengal economic ties, saying that China imports more and more Darjeeling tea, jute, seafood, crafts and garments from Bengal, and Bengal imports electronic products, machinery and everyday commodities from China. For example, China Bazaar in Kolkata has a lot of Chinese products available.

Mr. Ma then stated that the prospects for China-Bengal economic ties are very promising, citing the decisions made at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). He said that the Congress established Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guideline for CPC, and drew a grand blueprint for the future development of China. In particular, it was emphasized that China will expand its reforms and opening-up and continue to promote trade with other countries and make more investment abroad. This will have great significance on China's ties with Bengal and other states in Eastern India, as this region lies within the areas covered by the Belt and Road Initiative and the BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myamar Economic Corridor)

Mr. Ma further spoke about the advantages of Bengal, saying it is close to China, has a good economic base, enjoys a good tradition of economic ties with China, and its Chinatown as well as many good Chinese restaurants would all help with the growth of economic ties with China. He also paid tribute to the efforts by the State Government and the Central Government of India for their efforts to increase ease of doing business in India and especially in this area.

The Consul General also reminded the audience to work hard to remove some obstacles to fast development of the trade and economic relations between China and Bengal as well as other states in India, including fluctuations in the bilateral ties, the playing up of the so-called China threat, the insufficient action by the local government and community, the lack of success story of a Chinese company doing business in Eastern India..

He then urged the business community as well as the officials and ordinary people to work with the Chinese Consulate to further expand China-Bengal economic ties.

In conclusion, Mr. Ma wished everyone good health, prosperity and success in the year 2018.

Thereafter, members of BCCI discussed possible opportunities of trade between China and West Bengal with Mr. Ma.

Mr. Shi Lijun, Vice Consul, was present at the discussion.

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