If things go according to plan, the state government is going to set up a Biswa Bangla outlet at Kunming Changshui International Airport in China this July.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed recently in the state administrative headquarters at Nabanna. It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier announced opening of Biswa Bangla outlet in London and China respectively.
It was learnt that masks from Purulia and South Dinajpur, sital pati of Cooch Behar, dokra, Muslin saree and Muslin outfits will be displayed in the stall. The famous sitabhog and mihidana, sweets from Burdwan that have recently got GI tag would also be displayed at the Biswa Bangla stall.
A Chinese delegation had attended the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) held in January and expressed its willingness to invest in Bengal. After BGBS, a Chinese had come to the city and held talks with businessmen and senior officials of the Industry department. Senior state government officials felt that opening of the stall would start a new chapter and would showcase some of the typical products from Bengal.
It may be mentioned that Biswa Bangla stalls that have been set up in Dakshinapan and Park Street have got both domestic and foreign buyers. It may be recalled that after coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took special measures to revive the nearly-forgotten products like Muslim and sital pati along with utensils made of bell-metal.
The mask industry of Purulia and South Dinajpur also witnessed a revival. The artisans were looked after. The weavers who produced Muslins for generations were not only taken care of but also given elaborate training by reputed fashion designers.
Now, along with Muslin sarees, kurtas, pyjamas, tops for women, pillow covers and bed linens have become immensely popular.
A senior official of the Park Street outlet said jewellery made of Muslins have become popular and the bright coloured shirts and kurtas of the same material are gaining great popularity these days.
He further added that the Biswa Bangla stall in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport has been doing remarkably well.
He felt that an outlet in China or London would give extra mileage to Bengal's indigenous products. It may be mentioned that at the Biswa Bangla convention centre which is coming up at New Town, there will be another outlet too.