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North Shore City cements ties in Korea and China

North Shore City Mayor cements ties in Korea and China

August 12, 2008

North Shore City Mayor Andrew Williams returns to the city on Wednesday (August 13) after visiting Korea and China He was the guest of the Korean Government, which provided a great opportunity to cement ties with the people of Korea and our own Korean community in North Shore City.

At the invitation of the Korean Foundation, Mayor Williams made an official visit to Pohang, Korea, a coastal city less than an hour’s flying time south of Seoul. A city of 600,000 people, Pohang has POSCO, the world’s second-largest steel mill, and POSTECH, a major university with a number of research institutes and incubators, including Korea's only accelerator laboratory. The City is a pioneer in biotechnology, nanotechnology and robotic mechatronics, and it has an interest in extensively developing its marine facilities and marine leisure activities.

After visiting Pohang, during two days of visits to Seoul, the Mayoral delegation met with New Zealand Embassy officials, and also with the Vice Mayor of Seoul. Meetings also took place with the Korea Foundation to further co-operation between New Zealand and Korea. North Shore City has the largest population of Koreans in New Zealand.

Whilst in Korea, Mayor Williams signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Pohung City, attended a welcome dinner hosted by the Mayor of Pohung, Mr Seung-ho Park, and visited a number of hi tech businesses, local research institutes, the newly developed port area, and the location for a proposed marina complex.

Then, accompanied by Captain Dean McDougall, Commander of Philomel, RNZN; Mr Terry Hoskins, Chief Executive, Enterprise North Shore, and Mr Roger Matthews, Group Manager of Economic and Community Planning, North Shore City Council, the Mayor travelled as a guest of the Mayor of Qingdao, the Chinese port city that hosed the Olympic Sailing Regatta 2008.

Mayor Williams says it was a great experience for the delegation to see the Olympic venue as well as the international and Kiwi sailing team members – many of whom have competed in our own waters off Takapuna Beach – and to wish them well in the sailing events which were then just starting.

On Saturday, just prior to the opening of the Sailing Olympics, in the presence of the NZ Governor-General Hon. Anand Satyanand, the Mayor signed a Sister City agreement with his counterpart in Qingdao - making North Shore City the 14th international city to become a sister city of Qingdao, alongside other coastal cities such as Southhampton, Long Beach, Miami, Odessa and Montevideo. Following these formalities, the North Shore City delegation, along with 800 guests, attended a welcome banquet to launch the Olympic Sailing Regatta, and they then travelled to the Olympic Sailing Centre for the official opening ceremony.

Visits for the North Shore delegation have taken place to the Ocean University of China and the Qingdao Tourism School and meetings with local representatives of the marine industry and sailing associations.

" Qingdao and North Shore have a great deal in common, both the sailing capitals of each country" said Mayor Andrew Williams. "There will be many opportunities for our respective companies, clubs and educational institutions to have bi-lateral co-operation. Qingdao is the home for the Chinese northern naval fleet and North Shore is home for the Royal New Zealand Navy.

"This signing of the Sister City relationship with the Olympic sailing host city offers significant benefits, particularly maximising the potential of the free trade agreement now signed between New Zealand and China." says Mayor Williams.

“These visits are of huge importance for the Chinese and Korean communities in our city, and of course it was great to see so many Kiwis doing business in Korea and China and further strengthening our trading, sporting, cultural and educational ties with such important countries in Asia.

“Now we need to continue to work hard on the foundations that have been laid by our delegation – and I’m certain we will all greatly benefit from these contacts,” he says.


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