Belfast signs Sister City Agreement with Shenyang, China today to collaborate in number of areas
18 May 2016
A delegation from Belfast, led by the Lord Mayor, is in Beijing and Shenyang, China this week to explore areas of collaboration between the cities in urban development, smart city working, active ageing and tourism and education.
The programme for the Belfast City Council visit has been facilitated by the Northern Ireland Bureau in China which organised meetings, managed logistics and provided advice and briefing on engagement with China to the delegation. The visit also coincides with a trade mission by Invest Northern Ireland to the city of Shenyang this week.
Belfast City Council signed a Friendly Cooperation Agreement with Shenyang in 2014 with the relationship upgraded to Sister City status today when the Lord Mayor Arder Carson signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoM) with the Mayor of Shenyang, Pan Liguo, in Shenyang today. They were accompanied by the Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in China, Tim Losty, and, Councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown.
The visit to China followed a recent meeting with the Chinese Consulate General in Belfast, Madam Wang Shuying, in City Hall to discuss the goals the delegation wanted to achieve through their mission.
Lord Mayor Arder Carson said: “We are here on a mission to better understand the Chinese culture and business environment and to fully explore where we can develop some concrete collaborative projects particularly in areas where we can offer world-class excellence and partnership, such as cyber security, urban development, active ageing, smart city working, the fintech and advanced manufacturing industries, the creative industries and of course, tourism and education.
“One of my priorities this year has been to strengthen our international profile and elevate our reputation as a place to visit, study and do business. As the city regional driver, Belfast City Council is fully committed for a long working relationship with China,” he added.
The delegation which includes representatives from Queen’s and Ulster Universities will take part in a number of engagements – among these, a meeting with the Departments of Education and Health in Shenyang; a visit to the Shenyang Centre for Urban Design and the China Queen’s College – Queen’s University Belfast’s Joint Medical College.