A Friendship Partnership Agreement that will strengthen Liverpool’s bond with the Chinese city of Kunming was signed on February 25.
The partnership will see the two cities build on existing ties and work together to create a positive, mutually beneficial relationship.
The agreement is the result of a dialogue between the Vice Mayor of Kunming Municipal Government and Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson in Chengdu in September 2015.
The agreement was signed by Gary Millar, Vice Mayor of Liverpool, cabinet member for Business, Enterprise and Investment and board member of Liverpool Vision, and Vice Mayor Zhao Xuenong from Kunming at a ceremony in the Chinese city.
Counselor Millar and Ellen Cutler, Director of Invest Liverpool (part of Liverpool Vision), attended the ceremony as part of a wider visit to South West China, organised by Invest Liverpool. The visit strengthened relationships and promoted trade links with Chinese and explored how Liverpool and China can mutually benefit from closer ties.
Counselor Millar said:
Alongside the opportunities to further our trade links with China, there is fantastic potential to share and explore each other’s diverse cultural heritage, creating a rich, vibrant dialogue and positive exchange of ideas.
This relationship creates a very positive platform from which we can deepen our connection with Kunming and explore how our two cities can mutually benefit each other on a cultural, economic, and creative level.
We’re excited at the prospect of welcoming the Kunming delegation to Liverpool for the International Festival for Business 2016 and look forward continuing to develop our relationship over the coming years.
Ellen Cutler said:
We see our relationship with China as a key element in Liverpool’s future growth. Following on from the positive discussions between Vice Mayor Guan Qinghua and Mayor Anderson, we’re delighted to be in Kunming to formally acknowledge our close partnership with this great city.
Liverpool is a vibrant and exciting city, which offers great opportunities for investment and we’re very pleased to be exploring this potential with Chinese organisations and businesses. This visit has helped us to identify valuable synergies with key Chinese cities and strengthen our engagement with China.
The cities will seek to deliver sustainable economic and community benefits by collaborating on a broad range of activities including trade and investment, science and technology, culture, creative, and tourism.
The agreement will also promote opportunities for collaboration, trade and investment in key economic sectors from culture, the creative industries and tourism to healthcare, life sciences, green energy and technology.
The partnership will be developed and implemented through bilateral friendship visits. Business delegations from Kunming will also be attending the International Festival for Business 2016. There is also the potential to host a Liverpool event in Kunming.
The British Consulate has been working closely with Liverpool to support its growing city-to-city relationships in China through a year-long project that focused on urban regeneration, healthcare, and creative. The successful outcome of this visit provides a strong base for continuing our engagement with Liverpool and in supporting cities across South West China in strengthening their cultural and commercial links with cities across the UK.