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North Shore City Mayor leads NZ trade delegation

North Shore City Mayor leads NZ trade delegation
September 22, 2003

North Shore City Mayor George Wood will lead a 30-strong New Zealand business delegation to Taiwan next month to strengthen ties between the two trading partners.

The Taiwan New Zealand Business Council invited Mr Wood to lead the delegation which will include representatives from Parliament, Auckland Chamber of Commerce, the Auckland Education Group and prestigious legal firms. The delegation will build on the work of Investment New Zealand in Taiwan by expanding high-level networks.

The highlights of the trip are the prestigious international business conference 'Business Alliance Taipei 2003' and the 16th Joint Conference of the New Zealand/Taiwan and Republic of China/New Zealand Business Councils to be held in Taichung.

North Shore City has a unique sister city link to Taichung, the third largest city in Taiwan, and several North Shore-based firms and local schools will be part of the delegation looking to develop business and educational opportunities.

His mayoral counterpart, Dr Jason Hu, will host George Wood for three days in Taichung. North Shore City's economic development manager, David Knowles, will accompany Mr Wood on the business trip.

In a mark of respect for North Shore City's longstanding sister city relationship, the 16th Joint Conference will be held in Taichung rather than Taipei. George Wood says this is a significant gesture that marks another stage in the development of the sister city partnership and will profile North Shore City before an influential audience.

"The conference in Taichung will cover a range of topics including telecommunications, education and tourism. From a North Shore City perspective, these industries are a close match with sectors identified in our draft economic development strategy.

"It's an honour to lead this national delegation and I'm delighted that a number of North Shore City companies and schools are joining us to explore the many opportunities on offer.

"This is, first and foremost, a business trip to a friendly trading partner," says George Wood. "There will, of course, be no official, diplomatic relations involved, although our delegation aims to strengthen educational ties and build cross-cultural understanding. The Chinese community in New Zealand is growing along with the education sector and we're keen to develop student exchanges involving our respective young people."

The Auckland-based Taipei Economic and Cultural Office was instrumental in arranging the trade delegation and the creation of the North Shore City-Taichung sister city link back in the mid 1990s.

Director-General, Frank Liu, says the trip is a great opportunity to foster a growing business relationship between New Zealand and Taiwan.

"We are delighted that Mayor George Wood is leading New Zealand's trade delegation because of the importance of the significant partnership between North Shore and Taichung.

"This type of visit will promote New Zealand in Taiwan and help New Zealand exporters reach a significant market," he says.

"The people of Taichung are looking forward to Mayor Wood's visit and this will further strengthen the sister city partnership. The new mayor of Taichung, Dr Jason Hu, is keen to meet George and I know they will be talking about the opportunities for student exchanges between their two cities."


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