India skipped the Belt and Road Forum over the weekend but China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, chairperson of the Wanda group, didn’t forget to mention the country in his speech during the high-profile summit.
In his speech at a thematic session on tourism, put out by the company on its website on Wednesday, Wang spoke about India’s economic potential and Wanda’s investments there.
The references were in context of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the multi-billion dollar project that aims to connect China with the rest of Asia and Europe through infrastructure and transport projects.
Talking about the Wanda Industrial New City project in Haryana at the summit, he said: “The project is located in Haryana state within the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and India’s national capital region, in close proximity to urban Delhi. Covering 11 square km land, the project will have a manufacturing park, cultural tourism park and residential zone, with manufacturing and cultural tourism taking up more than 70% of its total land area.
“After completion, the project will create more than 100,000 jobs. It is currently the largest investment project in India.
“The Wanda New Industrial City in India will attract manufacturers from around the world, especially Chinese manufacturers to take Chinese manufacturing to the world, while also in furtherance of India’s own ‘Indian manufacturing’ strategy,” he said, presumably talking about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make In India initiative.
Wang mentioned India as one of the countries along the Belt and Road with a huge population and demographic dividend.
“Along the Belt and Road are mostly developing countries with a sizable population and a considerable demographic dividend. For example, India is the world’s second most populous country with a population of over 1.3 billion and a median age of 26 years, and Indonesia with a population of approximately 260 million, ranking 4th in the world, and a median age of less than 26 years.
“These countries are relatively lagging behind in tourism infrastructures and offer huge opportunities for tourism investments,” he said.