Mayoral mission to China

Dave Cull.
Dave Cull.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull is to lead a delegation to China next month aimed at strengthening ties and unlocking further economic opportunities for the city.

Mr Cull said the trip was aimed at building on Dunedin's already strong ties with China.

"This trip will continue to move the relationship forward from its strong civic and cultural roots into the economic development sphere leading with our education, tourism, trade, technology and environmental interests.

"Several key agreements will be signed during the trip which will further open the door for Dunedin education providers and local businesses to access Chinese markets,'' he said.

The delegation will visit Dunedin's sister city Shanghai, friendship city Qingdao, as well as Beijing, Guangzhou and Qingyuan.

Mr Cull will first visit Beijing from June 5 to 7 for the Unesco creative cities summit, before travelling to Qingdao to join the rest of the Dunedin delegation for the beginning of two weeks of high-level meetings with a range of civic, education and business leaders in Qingdao, Beijing, Shanghai and Qingyuan.

Key meetings and events included the renegotiation of Dunedin's sister city agreement with Shanghai, the launch of a programme between the University of Otago and Shanghai's Jiao Tong University, and the chamber of commerce and Enterprise Dunedin signing memorandums of understanding with the Qingyuan Foreign Affairs Office.

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said over the past year new and existing relationships had been developed between Dunedin and China.

Examples in the education sector included the largest education agency in China working with Enterprise Dunedin to bring Chinese students to Dunedin, co-operative early childhood projects developed between the University of Otago and the Western International School of Shanghai and the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic signing memorandums of understanding with their Chinese counterparts.

● Mr Cull's flights to and from China, and accommodation in Beijing for the summit, are being paid for by the organisers of the creative cities summit.

The delegation includes representatives from Dunedin City Council, Otago Chamber of Commerce, University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic and Dunedin tourism operators and businesses.

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