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Mayor embarks on Sister Cities visit to China

Thursday 4 April 2013

Mayor embarks on Sister Cities visit to China

Mayor Bob Parker will embark on a Sister Cities visit to China from Saturday 6 – Thursday 18 April to foster investment in Christchurch’s business and education sectors and to express the city’s thanks for the support it received post-earthquake.

As well as visits to Christchurch Sister Cities in Wuhan and Gansu Province, Mayor Parker will join the official New Zealand delegation in Beijing to mark the 40th anniversary of New Zealand’s diplomatic relationship with China.

The Council delegation will include representatives from the Canterbury Development Corporation, the China Sister Cities Committee, Christchurch Educated, University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, St Bedes College, Lincoln High School, Cashmere High School and Middleton Grange.

“One of the stated aims of the Sister Cities programme is to seek opportunities in educational and cultural exchanges as well as trade and tourism development, and that’s the real focus of this latest visit,” Mayor Parker says. “We have a lot of discussions lined up in regards to our current cooperative programmes, how they can be enhanced and expanded, and to engage with those all-important universities and investment communities in Wuhan and Gansu Province.”

Dr Garth Carnaby, Chair of the Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC), says, “CDC has put quite a lot of effort into Christchurch’s relationship with China – for instance, we’ve facilitated scientific research collaborations between Christchurch and its Chinese Sister Cities and helped set up partner programmes between the University of Canterbury and its Wuhan counterparts.

“It’s the Sister Cities programme that makes outcomes like this – and like Wuhan’s sizable donation to Christchurch post-earthquake – possible. Mayor Parker’s visits to Christchurch’s Sister Cities strengthen these ties and help ensure further mutual benefits of this nature.”

University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr says, “As a University with world-class rankings and with aspirations to grow our international student body, the University of Canterbury recognises the efforts the city in general, and the Mayor in particular, is making to raise the profile of the city in China.”

Mayor Parker is travelling economy class. Mayoress Jo Nicholls-Parker will join the Mayor at her own expense.

Saturday 6 April
• Embarks for China.


Sunday 7 April
• Arrives in Wuhan.
• Wuhan Foreign Affairs Office investment meeting.

Monday 8 April
• Visit to Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law and the Wuhan Education Bureau (education).
• Meeting with Hubei Provincial Government (civic).

Tuesday 9 April
• Visit to Wuhan Citizen Home (best practice).
• Meeting with Wushan Group (economic development).
• Closing Mayoress photo exhibition in Wuhan (cultural).
• Friendship tree-planting in the International Friendship Woods, meeting with Wuhan Mayor Tang Liangzhi and Civic Mayoral Reception (civic).

Wednesday 10 April
• Travels to Beijing.
• Meetings with Hualian Group, China Antarctic and Arctic Association and Huadu (economic development).

Thursday 11 April
• Invest Christchurch meeting and visit to Tianjin University (economic development).
• Attends 40th Anniversary of China / New Zealand Relations Reception alongside official New Zealand delegation (civic/diplomatic).

Friday 12 – Saturday 13 April
• No engagements.

Sunday 14 April
• Travels to Lanzhou, Gansu Province.

Monday 15 April
• Visit to Lanzhou University and Lanzhou City University (economic development).
• Open Mayoress photo exhibition in Lanzhou (cultural).
• Meeting with Governor of Gansu Liu Weiping and civic reception (civic).

Tuesday 16 April
• Meeting with Gansu Highway Aviation and Tourism Investment Group Co. (economic development).
• Embarks for New Zealand.

Thursday 18 April
• Arrives in New Zealand.

– Ends –

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