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Kunming Forum Opens Avenue for Sino-Manipur Trade

IMPHAL, Jun 15: The Government of China has expressed keen desire to foster closer trade links between India and China. Not only that, the Government of China has given consent to display products of Manipur at Luosiwan International Trade City, in Kunming city.

These were conveyed to the Manipuri delegates who participated in the China-South Asia Business Forum held at Kunming city of China’s Yunnan province from June 4 to June 10.

Speaking to media persons about the forum, Principal Secretary (Commerce and Industry) O Nabakishore who led the Manipuri delegates said that Manipuri handloom products were purchased by many Chinese with great enthusiasm.

The Manipuri delegates   numbering nine included entrepreneurs and Government officials.

By the sideline of the business forum, the 19th China Import and Export Fair were also held there where Manipuri food items and handloom products turned out to be a big hit.

As a first step to check possibility of opening trade links between China and Manipur on land routes, a car rally would be organized from Kunming to Moreh via Mandalay in the early part of next year, conveyed the Principal Secretary.

During an exclusive interaction with a high-ranking official of the Chinese authority under the auspices of the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the Manipuri delegates urged the Chinese authority to develop the 250 Kms long road from Kalewa to Malewa which is part of the highway connecting Mandalay to Tamu for opening direct trade route between China and Manipur on terrestrial routes.

Principal Secretary Nabakishore said that the State Government would put up a proposal for opening air link on Imphal– Mandalay-Kunming route.

He further estimated that travelling from Imphal to Kunming by air would take just around 90 minutes and this air route would be shorter than Imphal-Kolkata route.

Noting that majority of the Chinese do not speak English, the Principal Secretary said the Government should ask Manipur University to open a Chinese study centre in order to facilitate trade and commerce as well as tourism industry between China and Manipur.

Meanwhile, the Indian Chamber of Commerce has been already asked to make necessary initiatives so that Chinese students can learn English in Manipur University.

To a question if the Chinese authority was making any offer to Manipur, the Principal Secretary said that the Chinese Government was willing to export fertilizers to Manipur.

The Chinese authority also offered a stall for displaying Manipuri products at Luosiwan International Trade City.

Chairperson of the Manipur Apex Handloom and Handicrafts Artisans Cooperative Society Limited Seityabama who was among the Manipuri delegates said that Manipur handloom products were a big hit at the import-export fair.

The Principal Secretary further informed that 20 Thailand stalls including cultural troupes would be opened in the next Sangai Festival likely to be held in November.

The Government is also making arrangements for a car rally from Guwahati to Thailand, he added.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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