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Shanghai boosts friendship with global cities

By Lin Shujuan in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-02 13:40

Representatives from visiting friendship cities participate in a business matching event on Thursday, which also attracted participation of many local enterprises from Shanghai.  [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Shanghai has hosted a two-day event to deepen cooperation with its friendship cities in various areas including smart city development, innovation, and economic and trade collaborations.

Representatives from 13 cities in 12 countries including Dunedin in New Zealand, Vientiane in Laos, Johannesburg in South Africa, and Los Angeles in the United States, were invited for the two-day event, which entailed city tours and a business matching fair on Thursday, and the 2023 Shanghai International Friendship Cities Cooperation Forum on Friday.

"Cities are important for promoting high-quality development, creating high-quality living, and comprehensively building a modernized country," said Hua Yuan, vice-mayor of Shanghai, in the opening speech at Friday's forum.

"Strengthening the construction of smart cities, promoting economic and trade cooperation, and jointly promoting high-quality development are strategic choices shared by Shanghai and other cities."

Jules Radich, mayor of Dunedin, New Zealand, agreed. In 1994, Shanghai established a sister-city relationship with Dunedin and since then the two cities have maintained good exchanges and cooperation.

While this was his first time to Shanghai, Radich said Dunedin's sister-city relations with Shanghai have laid a good foundation for further cooperation between the two cities.

"I think all relationships, be they personal or business, are built on trust. When we have trust built up for nearly 30 years and the friendships are reliable, then we find it easier to do business with other people," he said.

The mayor of the New Zealand city said he hopes to cooperate with Shanghai in the fields of education, scientific research, technology tourism and fashion, and help more local products enter the Chinese market.

"Our efforts today can create a lot of opportunities for tomorrow," Radich said.

Sello Enoch Morero, member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa, said during Thursday's business matching event, he hopes to support the healthy development of local small and medium-sized enterprises in the financial, service and manufacturing fields through economic and trade cooperation with Shanghai.

"Small and medium-sized enterprises are the future of urban development," he said. "We not only want economic growth on paper, but also hope to achieve substantial changes in life. This requires sharing development dividends with foreign cities."

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