Fisher and Paykel Dunedin design manager Richard Butler
(right), and executive vice-president Andrew Cooke (second
from right) host a delegation of Chinese businesspeople
from the city of Qingdao and Vice-mayor Mingyin Liu (second
from left) at Fisher and Paykel's Dunedin offices
yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Members of a Chinese delegation in Dunedin to sign the
city's first economic partnership arrangement with another
city, say they are looking forward to improving the two cities'
investment and trade relationships.
Vice-mayor of the city of Qingdao in China's east, Mingyin
Liu, told those gathered for the signing it was an
''extraordinary'' day for two cities that had much in common
in terms of their focus on tourism and education.
''We must advance our co-operation in both investment and
trade. In the future both of us can further our co-operation
in trade, education, health care and investment.
''I believe with a joint effort we can achieve good results
for both of us,'' Mr Liu said through an interpreter.
Qingdao is a major centre in China's Shandong province, with
a population of more than 8.7 million people, and is home to
the Haier Group, which owns Fisher and Paykel.
The memorandum is between the Qingdao Municipal Government's
bureau of commerce and the Dunedin City Council's economic
The delegation of 15 people from Qingdao was welcomed by the
council's general manager of infrastructure and networks,
Tony Avery, who said the agreement linked the two centres for
''With this signing we look forward to a productive and
positive relation that grows our businesses, results in
better understanding and a friendship we will both value.''
He hoped the group had had a chance to explore Dunedin and
get a taste for some of the possible relationships they could
have with the city and looked forward to more discussions
over time that would enhance economic opportunities between
the two cities.
Deputy mayor Chris Staynes told the group he had been
impressed with Qingdao's growth when he visited as part of a
council delegation to China in April this year, and hoped the
economic benefits accrued for both cities through the new
agreement would result in growth in Dunedin similar to that
which had occurred in Qingdao since his visit about seven
The group visited Fisher and Paykel and had a quick tour of
the university area, the Chinese Garden and Toitu Otago
Settlers Museum, before leaving about 3pm.
What's in the agreement?
The two parties aim to:
- Provide economic and trade assistance to establish an
economic partnership between Qingdao and Dunedin. Exchange
trade and investment information every three months.
- Promote trade exchanges and expand the scale of imports and
exports. Attend mutual trade exhibitions. Establish
co-operative training and exchanges. Promote co-operation in
sectors such as finance, tourism, trade and innovation.
- Establish a regular forum to develop an economic