Zha Liyou, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kolkata, said the consulate is holding talks with the local Puja organisers and members of the West Bengal government to arrange guided tours for Chinese tourists to different 'puja pandals'.
"I have talked to the officials of the West Bengal government. They said they welcome the Chinese tourists to Bengal during the Durga Puja. Many of the Puja organisers also want more Chinese tourists to visit their puja as well. So we are trying to work that out. It is not very easy. When foreign delegations come, we have to work closely with the local organisations to arrange tours for them," Zha said on the sidelines of an event entitled 'Kolkata Women Change Makers: Harboring Hope, Fostering Growth' at his residence here.
"Durga Puja is certainly one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the country and it has massive significance in West Bengal. The Chinese consulate looks at all possible opportunities to be a part of the local community. We want to be part of the celebrations," he said.
During the Durga Puja last year, a city-based Puja committee collaborated with the Chinese consulate to create a 'pandal' based on Chinese architecture and flew in 25 Chinese artisans to perform at its premises.
The envoy said business ties between West Bengal and China are "gradually strengthening" as successful visits by Chinese business delegations have created a positive understanding of the business environment and opportunities in West Bengal.
"We had organised a very high-level delegation from the Yunnan province to visit the Bengal Global Business Summit this year. The delegation was very happy as they had a better understanding of the business environment in West Bengal. So may be in the coming years the Yunnan province's businessmen will take more proactive and effective measures to development the business relations with the state," he noted.
"A senior business delegation from West Bengal also visited China in June this year. The business connection between West Bengal and China is gradually strengthening," Zha said.
Zha said it is always important that such initiatives are taken to improve the people to people contact between the two nations.
A women's delegation from Bengal will be on a week-long visit to China from July 20- July 27, where it will visit places like Kunming Loudong residential sub-district, Yunnan Minzu University and interact with women leaders and entrepreneurs there.
Chaitali Das, a social entrepreneur and managing trustee of Rakshak Foundation, who would lead the delegation to China, said the agenda of their visit is to gain knowledge about poverty alleviation and women empowerment by talking to women entrepreneurs in China.
( With inputs from IANS )