A highlight of the visit is the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Mayor Liu Keqing, expanding opportunities between the cities in civic administration, education and business, and several business-to-business trade deals.
“Wellington and Xiamen have been sister cities for 27 years with an active programme of cultural and educational exchanges. This visit will help to further cement this long-standing relationship and move to more emphasis on economic outcomes,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.
Among the delegation’s activities during the visit:
English teachers from Xiamen will undertake teacher training at Whitireia
Doctors from Xiamen will participate in a training session at Wellington Hospital and at Otago University’s Wellington facility.
The Xiamen Mayor will also give a speech and present certificates to 20 Mandarin language assistants at the Picnic Café at the Botanic Garden on Saturday afternoon. They have been Chinese language and cultural ambassaors for Xiamen in over 40 schools in Wellington and the lower Noth Island, they will be completing their assignments later this year.
"Wellington hugely values the contributions of the Mandarin language assistants to the future competency of our young people,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.
Visiting Xiamen businesspeople include:
- Mr. He Fulong, Chairman, Xiamen ITG Group Co., Ltd.
- Mr. Li Yunshan, Vice President, Xiamen ITG Group Co., Ltd.
- Mr. Yang XiaoJian, General Manager, Xiamen Seashine Group Co. Ltd.
- Mr. Zhang YaHui, General Manager, Xiamen Aquatic Product Group Co. Ltd.
- Mrs. Luo Shiling, Vice President, Xiamen C&D International Travel Service Group Co. Ltd .
- Mr. Chen Yanghai, Chairman, Fujian Zexiang Group Co. Ltd.
- Mr. Liu Hong, Chairman, Tutti Exhibition Service (Xiamen) Co. Ltd.
Among business deals to be signed during their New Zealand visit:
- ITG will import logs from Rayonier NZ Ltd.
- Seashine purchases NZ honey from All Natural Products
- Seashine imports timber and wood from TPT Forests Limited
The Wellington-based Gibson Group is also currently working on a Xiamen Museum project.
Wellington Xiamen Association
The WXA was established in 1998 to support and grow the Wellington-Xiamen sister-city relationship. Wellington City Council provides the WXA with an annual grant. WXA has an active schedule of exchanges with Xiamen, including an artist exchange, an annual barbecue for Xiamen students who live in Wellington, and a student exchange. WXA won the award for the Wellington-Xiamen Paediatric project at the 2012 Sister Cities Conference.
Xiamen, on the south-eastern coast of China, has a population of about 3.67 million. Xiamen was one of the first four special economic zones in China. It is one of the few municipalities enjoying independent status in state economic planning. Xiamen enjoys provincial level autonomy and local legislative power in economic administration. Xiamen ranked first in terms of sustainable urban development among 35 Chinese cities, according to a report released by the Institute of Urban Environment of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2010.
Mayoral delegations to Xiamen
Wellington mayoral delegations visited Xiamen in 2011 and 2012, which saw the establishment of a Wellington Garden and Wellington Avenue. A ‘Wellington’ corner of the Xiamen Library has been dedicated to New Zealand books, videos and a display.