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Shanghai-Dunedin Sister City Ties Highlighted

Enterprise Dunedin media release




(Dunedin, 16 December) – The strength of the 25-year sister city relationship between Shanghai and Dunedin is being underscored by a visit from high-ranking Shanghai city representatives on 17-18 December.

The delegation will be led by Mr Xu Zezhou, the Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress (SCSMPC) – the equivalent of a deputy mayor for the city of some 26 million people.

Dunedin Mayor, Aaron Hawkins, says, “We welcome this visit, which can only enhance our already strong friendship with Shanghai. The genuine nature of those ties at a civic level is key to growing our other connections in education, the arts, business and research. We have many areas of common interest, too, such as health, where we can assist each other.”

Dunedin City Council’s Enterprise Dunedin Director, John Christie, says, “This visit from such a high-ranking Shanghai official is a strong indication that the city values the relationship Dunedin has built with them and that they wish to build on our established civic and educational ties, and growing business ties – as do we.

“Shanghai is highly regarded within China and where it goes other regions in that country often follow. For instance, the hundreds of students that come from Shanghai to study here influence others from China to come to our schools and tertiary institutions, bringing millions of dollars in income to the city.”

On its first afternoon in the city, the delegation will visit the Lan Yuan Dunedin Chinese Garden, which was built as a Shanghai-Dunedin collaborative project, opening in 2008. On 18 December the delegation will be hosted by the University of Otago for a presentation regarding its science and innovation programmes. The delegation will proceed to the Dunedin City Council where its members will meet the city’s new Mayor Aaron Hawkins, some elected members and representatives of the local tertiary and business community.

Mr Xu will be accompanied by five other SCSMPC representatives: the Vice-Chairperson of the Financial and Economic Committee, Ms Gong Zuying; Vice-Chairperson of the Supervisory and Judicial Committee, Ms Wu Wei; General Office Deputy Director-General, Mr Yang Kefang; General Office Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Division, Mr Cheng Minji; and General Office Section Chief of Secretary Division; Mr Li Guolin.



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