Shandong promotes sister city relations

(|Updated : 2019-09-26

The Shandong International Friendship Cities Conference for Cooperation will run on Oct 15-20 in the province’s cities of Qingdao and Jinan, according to local officials.

A news conference was held on Sept 25 by the Information Office of the Shandong Provincial People’s Government to introduce the preparation work and arrangements of the event.

The conference will be jointly organized by the Shandong government and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, or CPAFFC.

As of Sept 25, 708 delegates in 93 delegations — 49 at the provincial level and 44 at the municipal level — from 35 countries in five continents had signed up to attend the conference.

In addition, diplomatic envoys, counselors and the consuls general of Japan, Republic of Korea and Thailand in Shandong have also confirmed attendance.

More than 10 activities have been designed for the event. These include governor/mayor dialogues of international friendship cities, business talks and matchmaking of small and medium-sized enterprises for cooperation and development and cultural tourism promotions.

An International Friendship Cities Trade Fair will be held on Oct 15-17 in large shopping malls in Jinan and from Oct 17-20 in Qingdao, where visitors can explore specialties from the friendship cities.

A large-scale photo exhibition will be available on the sidelines of the conference to display friendship city relations and major achievements over the years.

A special exhibition area will be set up to present friendship cities’ culture, history, customs and tourism resources.

Inspection tours to Tai’an and Qufu are also planned, which will help the delegates have a better understanding of Shandong’s economic and social development and generate business opportunities.

This year marks the 40th anniversary since Shandong began to form sister city relations. In 1979, Qingdao and Shimonoseki of Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan established themselves as the first pair of sister cities in Shandong.

Over the past four decades, Shandong has established sister city relations with 222 administrations in 61 countries and it has established friendly cooperation relations with 241 administrations in 51 countries.

The organizers said the conference is designed to upgrade communications with friendship cities.

It is also designed to enhance all-round exchanges, carry out multi-layered dialogues and drive cooperation in various areas, to write a new chapter in the story of friendship city cooperation, local officials said.