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Capital hosts biggest ever Chinese delegation

Commentary

By Celia Wade-Brown, Mayor of Wellington City

I was delighted to host a delegation from Zhejiang to Wellington in September. The 180-strong delegation, the largest ever received in the capital, was here in an official capacity to expand the partnership between the Wellington Region and Zhejiang Province. Governor XIA Baolong gave an engaging speech that highlighted the many benefits and growing connections we have developed over the last few years.

In addition to the Memorandum of Cooperation the Governor, Mayors Wallace, Rowan, Leggett and I signed, there was also a very exciting cooperation agreement signed by the Zhejiang Radio and Television Group and Grow Wellington. This agreement will help promote both our regions and it has already begun in earnest, as the Zhejiang Radio and Television Group used the opportunity to do some filming during their visit. The result is entitled ‘Beautiful Wellington’ and will show highlights of the delegation’s tour of the city as well as interviews with local Chinese residents. It will air to potential audiences of hundreds of millions. I would like to mention that Councillor Jo Coughlan’s conversations during our civic delegation proved very fruitful!

I am pleased to report that Te Papa’s Pounamu exhibition will visit Zhejiang in 2013. Governor Xia appreciated the jade pendant he was gifted on our visit and felt it made a real connection.

The Zhejiang delegation was an amazing and successful visit that has cemented many economic opportunities, and there are many avenues still to explore. From here we will be looking into student exchanges, collaborative research projects including clean technology, port and marine based trade, as well as increased tourism. I anticipate the Memorandum of Cooperation will be a wonderful lasting agreement. I am delighted with this excellent result.

Finally, it was wonderful to see the designers Yuru Ma and Mengyue Wu of China took the two top awards at the marvellous World of Wearable Art (WOW) show last week. WOW has become a global event that continues to inspire and connect international creativity!

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We would like to celebrate your success hosting Chinese groups and delegations and forming long-lasting strategic partnerships with our extensive network. Please contact Luke Qin at luke.qin@nzcta.co.nz