Yunnan Province Offers Many Attractions: Liladhar Upadhyaya
We can fly to Kunming, the capital city of the Yunnan Province of the People's Republic of China, in around three hours from Kathmandu. Kunming is a well planned newly developed city. The people of the city are calm, hardworking and peace loving. They are well aware of the recent earthquake in Nepal and expressed solidarity with the Nepali people in their efforts to tackle the damages caused by the massive earthquake of the April 25. People from every part of the city expressed concern over the Nepal earthquake during conversation with this scribe. It shows their emotional and humanitarian attachment to the problems that the citizens of the neighbouring country were facing.
Yunnan, known as 'Dian' or Yun' for short, is located in Southwest China. Spread in an area of 394,000 square km, Yunnan is the 8th largest province of China in terms of their size. Administratively, Yunnan Province has eight cities and eight minority nationality autonomous prefectures under its jurisdiction. Within these cities and prefectures, there are 129 counties or districts, namely, 12 districts, nine county-level cities, 79 counties and 29 nationality autonomous counties.
Yunnan shares a common border with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam along a boundary line that is 4,060 kilometer long. Within the province, there are 25 counties and cities which are adjacent to the above-mentioned three countries.
Yunnan has the most ethnic groups among all the provinces in China. It has 25 ethnic minority groups of which 15 are indigenous and found nowhere else in the country and 16 are cross-border ones. In Yunnan, all these ethnic groups have lived in harmony for generations and established close economic and cultural ties. By the end of 2014, Yunnan has a total population of 47.2 million, of which 33.37 come from ethnic minority groups.
Geographically, Yunnan is situated in the southern extension of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In its west, there are the parallel mountains and in its south the low valleys and flat ground. And in its east, Yunnan belongs to the Yunnan-Guizhou plateau.
Yunnan has 600 rivers and is dotted with 40 natural lakes, which are located in the drainage areas of six major rivers including Langcang River, Jinsha River, Nu River, Red River, Pearl River, and the Irrawaddy River. Yunnan is rich in plant and animal resources since it is divided into several climatic zones, including tropical, subtropical temperate and frigid zones.
Yunnan is one of the provinces in China with the longest history of opening up and has been important gateway connecting China with South and Southeast Asian countries. It is the land from where the ancient southern Silk Road passed through.
By inviting in strategic cooperative partners, establishing railway construction fund, organising port and shipping investment companies, etc. in 2014, Yunnan raised fund in diverse ways, and launched investment amounting over RMB 100 billion for the comprehensive import and export volume being USD 29.62 billion. RMB 535.4 billion of investment was introduced from other provinces, and USD 2.7 billion of foreign investment was used. In 2014, overseas investment launched by Yunnan enterprises was over USD one billion, ranking in the 1st place in West China.
In 2014, Yunnan's GDP rose by 8.1 per cent, the fixed asset investment of larger scale by 15.1 revenue in general, public budgets by 5.4 per cent, social consumer goods retail volume by 12.7 per cent, per capital disposable income of urban residents by 8.2 per cent, per capita disposable income of rural residents by 11 per cent, CPI by 2.4 per cent and foreign trade import and export volume by 17.1 per cent. Its urban registered employment rate was 3.98 per cent, natural population growth rate was 6 per cent and its energy consumption per unit of GDP dropped by 3.5 per cent.
Kunming Dian-chi International Convention and Exhibition Center
Kunming Dian-chi International Convention and Exhibition Center, located on the eastern bank of Dian-chi Lake, is the permanent venue of China-South Asia Expo. This time the Center organised the 3rd China-South Asia Expo and 23rd China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair from June 12-16. Nepal also participated in the expo. A delegation led by Minister for Commerce and Supply Sunil Bahadur Thapa attended the expo by representing Nepal. It has a vast building complex, including the convention and exhibition center halls and supporting facilities in use now as well as tourism towns, CBD, Ocean Park, hotels and some residential buildings under construction. Kunming Dianchi International onvention and Exhibition Center has unique design concepts, and it resembles a peacock spreading its tail.
The project covers a land area of about 127.74 hectares, with an architectural area of four million square meter, and the budgetary investment is over 37 million RMB. The architectural area of the exhibition hall alone in Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center is 1.17 million square meter, including indoor exhibition area of 300,000 square meter for 12,000 standard booths, and an outdoor exhibition area of 100,000 square meter. There are 100,000 square meter meeting and banquet facilities for direct exhibition service, and 108 VIP meeting rooms built inside. Besides, Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Center will make an area of 200,000 square meter for commercial use and 350,000 square meter for underground parking lot with a capacity for 10,000 vehicles, and become a top mega-size convention complex.
Kunming Int'l Flora Auction Trading Center
Kunming International Flora Auction Trading Center Company (KIFA) was founded in 2001 and is subsidiary Yunnan Jinyuan Flower Industry Company. It specialises in floral auctions and its transaction volume ranks first in China, second in Asia and fourth in the whole world.
Covering an area of 55,000 square meters of trading space, KIFA has two auction trading halls, nine electronic transaction clocks and 900 trading seats, allowing it to accommodate 8-10 million deals per day.
Over the course of its 14-year development, the company has brought together 25,000 planter (supplier) members and more than 3,100 purchasers from all over China. Over a hundred varieties of flowers are traded, including roses, flameray gernera, baby's breath and carnations. Typical trade volumes are around 2-3 million individual flower auctions per day, but can exceed five million at peak time. Roses traded here account for 70 per cent of the total output of roses in Yunnan, baby's breath for 90 per cent, flameray gerbera for 50 per cent, carnations for 5 per cent and others 5 per cent. Over the course of 2014, over 750 million fresh-cut flowers were sold through KIFA.
Kunming South Station of Yunnan High-Speed Rail
Kunming South Station, located at the foot of Longtan Mountain, Chenggong New District of Kunming City and three kilometer away from the newly-built municipal administrative center, is an important station of Yunnan Railway. At present half of investment for the engineering construction has been launched by March this year, with a construction investment of RMB 1.6 billion, which is 50 per cent of the total investment, and another share of investment this year is RMB 600 million. The construction is estimated to be completed in June 2016.
Kunming South Station is not only a super-size railway passenger station, but also the largest high-speed rail station under construction in Southwest China. When the construction is completed, the station will dispatch high speed rails and trans-provincial long-distance passenger trains, and the estimated annual throughput capacity in the short term is 31.20 million persons and 46.93 million persons in the long run. The daily throughput is 128 thousand persons. In rush hours, the passenger flow may reach 300 thousand persons, which will be six times the capacity of the railway south station in use.
Third China-South Asia Expo
Kunming hosted the 3rd China-South Asia Expo and 23rd China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair from June 12-16. The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, People's Government of Yunnan Province organised the event under the theme of friendship, sincerity, reciprocity, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. The principle of the expo was 'promoting comprehensive cooperation and development between China and South and Southeast Asia'.
In addition to the exposition, trade talks and contract signing, a series of important activities held including the 10th China-South Asia Business Forum, the 7th GMS Economic Corridor Forum, the ASEAN Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs Conference and the 3rd China-South Asia Think Tank Forum.
China-South Asia Expo and China Kunming Import and Export Commodities Fair are important contributors to the 'One Belt and One Road' initiative, as well as important platforms for China to comprehensively deepen multilateral diplomatic relations with South and Southeast Asian and Pan-Indian Ocean areas, especially in economy and trade cooperation and cultural exchange.
Kunming Railway Container Center
Kunming Railway Container Center is a modern railway terminal yard invested, built and run by China Railway Joint International Container Company, with a total investment of RMB 340 million. The project construction kicked off in July 2004 and ended on November 4, 2006 when it was officially opened for business, and the center is one of 18 nationwide railway container center stations of the company. It is the most complete and well functioning station among Yunnan Province railway container freight facilities, the container shipping volume is 650 thousand TEU, arrival volume is 730 thousand TEU, transfer volume of 220 thousand TEU, and total freight volume of 1.6 million TEU.
Yunnan Daily Press Group
Yunnan Daily started its publication in 1950 and is the most prestigious newspaper in Yunnan. By the efforts of the employees for generations, Yunnan Daily Press Group has grown up into the largest newspaper group in Yunnan Province, adhering people's minds and hearts. In May of this year, the Group launched its first news app and is now covering online and offline readers.
All in all, Yunnan is going to be built into a pivot of China's opening up to South and Southeast Asia in terms of economy, transportation, markets, social public service, science, technology and education. Nepal can benefit from such developed province of immediate northern neighbouring country in the areas of health, education, business, transport, science and technology. Tourism can be a good avenue of expanding cooperation between the two nations.