Guangzhou Special: Party officials vow to find new 'sister' cities

09:08, November 13, 2009      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Officials in Guangzhou have announced plans to seek out new global partner cities as a key route to accelerate the city's international expansion policy.

Reporting on policies outlined by Zhu Xiaodan, the party secretary of Guangzhou, Liu Baochun, deputy director of the Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office, said: "Guangzhou's development has benefited hugely from the opening-up initiative. Our international 'sister' cities have been a vital part of that process.

"Guangzhou has made considerable headway in its bid for increased globalization, thanks to our partner cities across the world. As part of our long-term aims, we are now actively seeking to forge new relationships with additional urban partners across the world. We believe this policy will deliver real benefits for the city's ongoing economic and social development."

Liu said that this year's International Sister Cities Conference, a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Guangzhou's first adoption of an international sister city - Fukuoka on Japan's Kyushu island - has far-reaching significance for the city's future plans.

Guangzhou and Fukuoka forged their initial sister city link in 1979. Since that time, Guangzhou has established similar relationship with 21 cities across a number of different continents. As part of this year's conference, Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is today set to become the 22nd such city.

Liu compared an international sister city to a good friend, adding that both sides can learn from each other's experience in economic and social development, as well as in urban management.

According to the deputy director, Guangzhou has organized trade fairs and campaigns promoting the city's investment climate in many of its sister cities, including Los Angeles in the United States, Manila in the Philippines, Ekaterinburg in Russia, Arequipa in Peru, Vilnius in Lithuania and Recife in Brazil. He believes these activities have helped Guangzhou strengthen its co-operative ties with its partner cities across a wide range of fields, including trade and investment, tourism and technological development.

He said many private-sector companies in Guangzhou have also accessed lucrative overseas markets via the sister cities program. According to Liu, other key benefits have included advances in urban management and the improved management of public facilities, traffic system and sewage treatment.

He said many of the international sister cities have also become locations for training programs for city officials, as well as the staff of State-funded organization and business. The city's athletes, too, have benefited from the program, with many of them, like their business counterparts, eligible for scholarships abroad.

Guangzhou's international sister cities are Fukuoka in Japan, Los Angeles in the United States, Vancouver in Canada, Sydney in Australia, Manila in the Philippines, Bari in Italy, Lyon in France, Frankfurt in Germany, Auckland in New Zealand, Gwangju in South Korea, Linkoping in Sweden, Durban in South Africa, Bristol and Birmingham in the United Kingdom, Ekaterinburg in Russia, Arequipa in Peru, Surabaya in Indonesia, Vilnius in Lithuania, Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Recife in Brazil, Tampere in Finland and Bangkok in Thailand.

The city has forged relationships with Salvador in Brazil, Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam, Oita in Japan, Khabarovsk in Russia, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the US-governed island of Guam, Noboribetsu in Japan, Melbourne in Australia, Alexander in Egypt, Barcelona in Spain, Bishkek in Kyrgyz, Havana in Cuba and Dusseldorf in Germany.

Source:China Daily
  • Do you have anything to say?
Special Coverage
  • President Hu visits Malaysia, Singapore, attends APEC summit
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion