Wakefield Council Leader signs friendship agreement

09/05/2019, PR-9050

Mayor Zhou and his delegation
Mayor Zhou and his delegation

​Wakefield Council and Nanning City, in southern China, have signed an agreement aimed at boosting economic, educational and cultural ties between the two.

The friendship agreement was signed (May 9) by Zhou Hongbo, the Mayor of Nanning and Cllr Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council, during a visit by the Chinese delegation.

The agreement opens the way for both cities to explore trade between them creating business opportunities on both sides.

It is also expected to lead to exchange visits by the educational, youth and cultural sectors.

Nanning, a culturally rich, historical and economic hub on the Vietnamese border, has a population of approximately seven million people and a GDP in 2017 of approximately £47billion. Its main industries include bio-engineering and pharmaceuticals, electrical and mechanical equipment manufacturing and information technology.

Merran McRae, Cllr Peter Box and Mayor Zhou
Merran McRae, Cllr Peter Box and Mayor Zhou

​Wakefield Council Leader, Cllr Peter Box CBE, said: "We are pleased to have welcomed Mayor Zhou and his delegation to Wakefield. The aim of this friendship agreement is to promote the prosperity and development of our two cities and in light of Brexit, it is a positive step to strengthen relationships with countries outside of the EU.

"I am anticipating that in the coming months and years we will build strong relationships which can lead to increased commercial opportunities for domestic businesses.

"I also anticipate the building of educational, tourism and cultural links which will increase the district's global reach bringing more visitors here while opening new opportunities for our young people.

"We all face the same challenges and it will be a good opportunity to share understanding and develop new approaches on a range of issues.

"We look forward to building our relationship in the years to come."

Mayor of Nanning City, Zhou Hongbo, said: "Nanning has always attached great importance to the development of friendly relations with British cities. Nanning is open, inclusive and always ready to learn.

"During the visit to the city of Wakefield, Nanning were pleased to sign Letters of Intent for the Establishment of Sister City Relations and build up the mechanism for long-term sustainable communications and cooperation between our two sides in such fields as trade, emerging high-tech industries, education, culture and people to people exchanges.

"With these efforts, we are looking forward to sharing development opportunities and meeting challenges together in the pursuit of greater common prosperity in the future."

During the visit, Mayor Zhou also visited OE Electricals at Calder Park, to get an insight into Wakefield's industrial offerings.

The leaders of Nanning and Wakefield will now maintain regular communications and develop cooperation on matters and issues of common concern.

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