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Building stronger local government connections with China

Building stronger local government connections with China

Dunedin (Thursday, 27 August 2015) – Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull is joining New Zealand and Chinese mayors at the first New Zealand China Mayoral Forum in the city of Xiamen to build closer local government connections and discuss economic development.

Mr Cull was invited to join the forum after a memorandum of understanding was signed between Local Government New Zealand and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries last year during Chinese President, Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with 11 other New Zealand mayors and our Chinese counterparts to create avenues through which we can capitalise on the influence of local government to generate better economic outcomes for both of our countries,” says Mr Cull.

The forum will focus on ‘Innovation and Development’ in education, tourism and primary industries and Mr Cull has been chosen as the lead speaker on education.

While in China the Mayor will take the opportunity to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Qingyuan to further promote and build Dunedin’s various relationships within these cities.

“We are going from strength to strength in these relationships and the markets we have access to as a result are crucial to the economic growth of our local industries – particularly our education industry,” says Mr Cull.

“We also have close cultural connections to China and it’s a privilege to be part of further cultural exchanges.”

In Beijing Mr Cull will visit the Chinese head office of Dunedin based production company NHNZ and with education agency JJL, which has over 40 offices around China. In Shanghai, he will meet the new New Zealand Consul-General to Shanghai, Guergana Guermanoff and with the Shanghai Education Commission, the Huangpu District and the Yu Garden – sister to Dunedin’s Chinese Garden and the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce.

“I am also looking forward to opening the Shanghai Photographic Exhibition. A competition has been run for this exhibition to find an iconic image of Shanghai and this will be gifted to our city by Mayor of Shanghai, Yang Xiong to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our sister relationship,” says Mr Cull.

Following on from the memorandum of understanding signed between Dunedin and the southern city of Qingyuan in June this year, Mr Cull will meet with key stakeholders to discuss tourism and education economic opportunities.

Mr Cull will be accompanied on the Chinese visit by Mr John Christie, Director of Enterprise Dunedin and Mr Zhang Hui, Enterprise Dunedin’s Project China Manager.

ENDS

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