About Us Yunnan

Location: Yunnan Province of People’s Republic of China is located in the far southwest of the country, with the Tropic of Cancer running through its southern section. The province occupies an area of 394,000 square kilometers, with a population of 45.97 million. Kunming is the capital of Yunnan province, which borders Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Guizhou Province in the East, Sichuan Province in the North, and Tibet Autonomous Region in the North-West. It shares a 4,060 km border with Myanmar in the West, Laos in the South, and Vietnam in the South-East. 

Ethnicity: Yunnan is recognized for its ethnic diversity. It has the highest number of ethnic groups among all provinces and autonomous regions in China. Among China’s 56 recognized ethnic groups, twenty-five are found in Yunnan. Ethnic minorities in Yunnan account for about 38 percent of its total population. Major ethnic groups include Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai and Miao. 

Economy: Yunnan is rich in natural resources and has large plant diversity in China. Yunnan’s reserves of aluminium, lead, zinc and tin are the largest in China, and also have major reserves of copper and nickel.

Agriculture in Yunnan province is restricted to the few upland plains, open valleys, and terraced hillsides. Level land for agriculture is extremely scarce and only about 5 percent of the land in the province is under cultivation. Rice is the main crop; corn, barley, wheat, rapeseed, sweet potatoes, soybeans (as a food crop), tea, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, and cotton are also grown. On the steep slopes in the west livestock is raised and timber is cut (teak in the southwest).

Tobacco is the main (export) product and makes up a big part of the provincial GDP. In addition, Yunnan has a strong competitive potential in the fruit and vegetable industries, especially in low value-added commodities such as fresh and dried vegetables and fresh apples. Yunnan is one of the regions in the world with the most abundant resources of wild edible mushrooms. In China, there are 938 kinds of edible mushrooms, and over 800 varieties can be found in Yunnan. Yunnan is currently China’s most important producer of Arabica coffee. It exports roasted coffee and coffee-related products such as extracts, essences and substitutes. Yunnan, considered to be the birthplace of tea, also exports tea in large quantities to U.S. and Japan.  

Horticulture Sector is thriving in the Province. Currently, Yunnan accounts for 50% of China’s total cut flower production. The size of the planting area for cut flowers in Yunnan province amounts to 4,000 hectares, with exports reaching up to USD 18 million. A number of Dutch horticultural companies have established their presence in Yunnan. 

Yunnan Province has established a number of Economic and Technological Development Zones to promote industrialization and modernization. The Prominent ones include:

1. Kunming Economic and Technological Development Zone- Established in 1992, Kunming Economic & Technology Development Zone is a national-level zone approved by the State Council of China. Its main industries are tobacco processing, machinery manufacturing, electronic information, and biotechnology.

2. Kunming New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone- It is a state-level, high-tech industrial zone established in 1992 in Northwest Kunming. 

3. Ruili Border Trade Economic Cooperation Zone- It is a Chinese State Council-approved Industrial Park based in Ruili City of Dehong Prefecture. It was founded in 1992 to promote trade between China and Myanmar. Import and export trade include the processing industry, local agriculture and biological resources. 

4. Wanding Border Economic Cooperation Zone- It is a Chinese State Council-approved Industrial Park based in Wanding Town, Ruili City of Dehong Prefecture. It was founded in 1992 and was established to promote trade between China and Myanmar. The zone spans 6 km sq. It focuses on trade, processing, agriculture resources and tourism development.

5. Hekou Border Economic Cooperation Zone- It was established in 1992 with the approval of the State Council of China to promote trade between China and Vietnam. It covers an area of 4.02 square kilometers. 

China Import & Export Fair, Kunming (Kunming Fair): The 1st Session of the Kunming Export Commodities Fair was held during 8 to 17, August 1993, co-hosted by China’s Western Region Provincial Governments. In 2004, the Kunming Export Commodities Fair was upgraded by the State Council of China and renamed as “China Import & Export Fair, Kunming”, to be jointly hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of China, Chongqing Municipality, Sichuan Provincial Government, Yunnan Provincial Government, Guizhou Provincial Government, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Government, Tibet Autonomous Region Government and Chengdu Municipal Government during 06 to 10, June every year. The fair consists of more than 2000 standard booths, of which more than 300 booths are reserved for exhibitors from South Asian and South East Asian Countries. During later sessions of the Fair some parallel events were initiated to further promote Yunnan Province as a ‘Bridge’ to South Asian and South East Asian Countries.

South Asia Expo: In order to address the growing trade imbalance between China and Countries of South Asia and South East Asia, Ministry of Commerce of China and People’s Government of Yunnan Province introduced “South Asian Countries Hall” at the 12th Kunming Export Commodities Fair in 2004. In 2007, South Asian Countries Hall was renamed and 1st South Asian Countries Commodity (SACC) Fair was held in Beijing during 28-30, December, which was attended by 7 South Asian Countries, viz., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Out of the 8 SAARC nations, only Bhutan did not participate in the first Session of the Fair. In 2010, China’s Ministry of Commerce decided that Kunming would be the permanent host city for the Fair and again renamed it as “South Asian Countries Trade (SACT) Fair”. India’s participation at the Fair was coordinated by the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO). On 30 October 2012, the State Council of China has upgraded the status of the SACT Fair and renamed it as “South Asia Expo” to be held in parallel with the Kunming Fair every year. The first South Asia Expo was held in June 2013 and India participated in the Expo under the aegis of FIEO. 

China-South Asia Business Forum (CSABF): 
China South Asia Business Forum begun as an initiative to promote economic cooperation between China and SAARC member nations. The Forum is sponsored by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), the People’s Government of Yunnan Province and SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and organized by the Department of Commerce of Yunnan Province and CCPIT Yunnan Sub-Council. The 8th China-South Asia Business Forum was held in June 2013 in parallel with the Kunming Fair. China is gradually trying to upgrade the status of the Forum and increase the level of participation with the introduction of ‘China-SAARC Economic & Trade Senior Officials Meeting (SOM)’. The 5th SOM was held during June 2013 and India was represented by the Consul General Mr. K. Nagaraj Naidu. 

India-Yunnan Relations: Governor of Yunnan, Mr. Qin Guangrong, visited India on 9-15 November 2008. He was accompanied by Mayor of Kunming city and a business delegation. In Kolkata Mr. Qin had met Governor and Chief Minister of West Bengal. During his stay in New Delhi, Governor had met Minister for Tourism and Culture. Secretary (West) had hosted a Luncheon meeting in his honour.  A Seminar on “India-China: Economic and Trade Promotion”, with special focus on Yunnan, was organized by CII. MOS (Commerce) also addressed the Seminar. After the Seminar two MoUs were signed: cooperation agreement for 1.5 million tons of iron ore between Kunming Iron & Steel Group and India Noble group; and MoU between Yunnan Provincial Chamber of Commerce and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade-SME Centre. Governor Qin was invited as a special guest at the inauguration of the 28th India International Trade Fair. His visit was followed by a visit of vice-Governor in August 2009, who also visited Kolkata, New Delhi, and Jaipur etc. FICCI had organized a Luncheon meeting with him in which some Indian companies participated. The Chief Minister of Manipur Mr.Okram Ibobi Singh visited Xiushuangbanna and Kunming along with a high-level delegation from September 19 to 21, 2013. The aim of the visit was to understand the infrastructural development along the Yunnan-Myanmar border, as well the policies adopted by the Yunnan government for the enhancement of livelihoods of minorities and to promote the handicraft industry.

There has not been a high-level visit from India to Yunnan in the recent past. Late President K.R.Narayanan visited Yunnan province during his visit to China in 2000. The closing ceremony of the India-China Friendship through Tourism Year was held at Kunming in January 2008. Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam was on a visit to Kunming in May 2008 under the exchange programme of MEA with the International Liaison Department of Communist Party of China but he had to cut-short his visit due to illness. Minister of Tourism, Micro and Small Enterprises and Textiles of West Bengal visited Kunming in June 2009.

Trade and investment ties with Yunnan: The bilateral trade between India and Yunnan increased from US$ 54.48 million in 2002 to US$ 460 million in 2012. In 2012, India’s exports to Yunnan were US$ 34 million and India’s imports from Yunnan were US$ 426 million. Trade with Yunnan accounts for less than 1% of India’s trade with China. There is a large untapped potential which could be exploited. There is also a need to expand the basket of commodities being traded between the two countries, which presently is dominated by primary commodities. India has been taking part in the annual Kunming Trade Fair and the South Asian Countries Trade Fair. The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) is coordinating our participation and there is a large scope for our small and medium scale industries from the North-East region to promote their exports to Yunnan. It may be noted that direct flight connectivity already exists between Kolkata and Kunming. The Consulate has organized various trade and investment promotion events in Kunming, viz., A Business Seminar in June 2008, India-China Business Seminar in August 201o, Seminar on Investment Opportunities in India in March 2012, India-China Business Seminar in June 2012 and India-China Business Seminar in March 2013. 

Cooperation between Yunnan and West Bengal: Yunnan has focused on developing links with West Bengal. There is a direct flight between Kunming and Kolkata. According to Director General, Tourism Department of Kunming, there is also a proposal to start a flight between Kunming and Delhi. The two provinces have been taking part in each other’s food and cultural festivals. During the Governor’s visit, a MoU between West Bengal Tourism Development Cooperation and Yunnan Tourism Industry Group Limited was also signed. At the invitation of the Mayor of Kunming, Minister of Tourism, Micro and Small Enterprises and Textiles of West Bengal visited Kunming in June 2009. A Seminar on cooperation in tourism sector between Yunnan and West Bengal was organized during the visit and at the end of the seminar, an agreement of Business between West Bengal Tourism Development Cooperation and Yunnan Tourism Industry Group Limited was signed. 

Kunming to Kolkata (K2K) Forum: The K2K Forum was set up in 2002 by Indian and Chinese Scholars as a ‘Track-II’ economic cooperation Forum for communication between India and China at the State/Provincial level. The Forum is alternatively held in different cities of West Bengal and Yunnan. The 08th Session of the K2K Forum was held during 20-21, November 2012 at Kunming city with the theme ‘Communication of Think Tanks and Cooperation of Enterprises’. It recommended greater cooperation in bilateral, regional, and sub-regional economic engagement in IT sector, educational institutions, joint studies, academic visits, business visits, car rally, art exhibitions in Kolkata and Kunming etc. 

Cooperation in Education sector: During the visit of vice-Governor in August 2009, Yunnan University signed MoUs for cooperation with three Indian Universities Visvabharati University, Rabindra Bharati University and University of Calcutta. It had organized the “2009 Yunnan Education Fair” in Kolkata on this occasion. With Visvabharati University, Yunnan University is trying to cooperate in the development of its Cheena Bhavana. With Rabindra Bharati University, it is trying to establish a Confucius Institute or a Chinese Language Centre. With University of Calcutta, it is in the process of developing cooperation in scientific research and academic research programmes. There are around 250 Indian students, studying at Dali Medical University in Dali.  To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, the Consulate with the support of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has set up a Tagore Chair at Yunnan University in Kunming in December 2011. Prof. Chintamani Mahapatra from JNU was the first professor under this chair to teach for one semester from June to December 2012. A Tagore Bust will be unveiled at the campus of the Yunnan University.

Cooperation in Cultural Exchanges: An ICCR sponsored Bhangra Group gave three performances in Kunming in April 2009. A dance group from West Bengal had also given its performances in Kunming on the same occasion. A performance by a “Bollywood Group” in Kunming, Dali and Lijiang in Yunnan province was held in July 2010, as part of Festival of India in China. The Consulate actively supported the various activities related to the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) car rally organized during February-March, 2013. 

BCIM Car Rally: The BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India, and Myanmar) Car Rally from Kolkata to Kunming in Yunnan Province concluded successfully on March 5, 2013. The Rally had been flagged off at Kolkata on February 22, 2013 by Madam Mamta Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal and passed through Dhaka, Silchar (Assam), Imphal (Manipur), Mandalay and Ruili (Yunnan). On February 27, 2013, Shri. Okram Ibobi Singh, Manipur Chief Minister gave a rousing send-off to the 80 participants of the BCIM Car rally in Imphal. The Rally was warmly received in all four countries and highlighted connectivity in this sub-region. The closing ceremony of the rally was attended, among others, by Mr. Gao Shuxun, Vice-Governor of Yunnan Province, Mr. Madan Mitra, Sports Minister of West Bengal and Consul General Mr. K Nagaraj Naidu.

Provinces Under Consulate