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Christchurch strengthens ties with Wuhan, China

31 March 2006

Christchurch strengthens ties with Wuhan, China

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore, leaves tomorrow to sign a Friendship City Agreement with Wuhan, the fourth largest city in China.

He is leading a delegation of 20 Canterbury leaders and experts in business, education, science, technology, horticulture and the horse racing industry.

The Friendship City status is the highest level of formal relationship conferred by a Chinese City.

"It is a huge honour for a city our size and provides us with a partner into China which is experiencing incredible rates of growth and development," Mr Moore says.

"We have a Sister City relationship with the Gansu province in China and Wuhan adds to our strength in this market."

Wuhan, with a population of 8.3 million, is one of three knowledge capitals of China. Its strengths are in computer science, opto-electronics, agricultural sciences, nanotechnology, bioscience and Antarctic science.

Included in the delegation are Paul Tocker, Chief Executive Crop and Food, Murray Acklin, New Zealand Racing Board Director, Scott Davidson, Dean of the School of Law Canterbury University and Prue Taylor, Principal of Christchurch Girls High School.

Members of the delegation will be either exploring or furthering relationships they already have with Wuhan institutions. In addition to the formal signing of the Friendship City Agreement on Tuesday 4 April, Mr Moore's visit includes the Chinese Antarctic Centre, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and the Wuhan Botanic Gardens.

"The opportunities of our new relationship with Wuhan are enormous, both from an economic and political viewpoint," Mr Moore says.

ENDS

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