Zhejiang, Wellington sign partnership deal
Updated: 2012-09-07 09:15
WELLINGTON -- A Chinese provincial delegation signed a new "strategic economic partnership" agreement with Wellington region's Mayors on Thursday.
The 180-strong delegation, from the southeast coastal province of Zhejiang, which has a population of 54 million and an economy the size of Sweden's, was led by Zhejiang Governor Xia Baolong.
The agreement is the first time councils throughout the Wellington region have worked closely with central government to produce a Memorandum of Cooperation with China.
The trade mission also signed a Wellington Trade and Business Cooperation Projects agreement.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett, Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace and Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan signed the agreement at the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon.
Zhejiang company representatives also expected signed deals with New Zealand companies worth millions of dollars. In Wellington, the delegation will meet with Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop and Victoria Spackman from the Gibson Group.
"With a GDP of over $495 billion, Zhejiang is one of the most prosperous provinces in China, and it is looking to engage with New Zealand through trade and investment," said Mayor Wade-Brown on Thursday.
"Wellington is a valuable region to partner because it includes the capital city and is home to our government and a diverse range of businesses. We offer creative and cultural opportunities in health, education, science and clean-tech partnerships," she added.
"Hangzhou's West Lake World Heritage site and our beautiful harbour and hinterland also offer mutual tourism opportunities."
"The Strategic Economic Partnership: Memorandum of Cooperation aims to increase opportunities for trade, study and mutual understanding of our cities. It will also increase exchanges between the regions," said the mayor.
"Today Wellington is taking a leading role in New Zealand's China Strategy, which recognises the importance of local government ties," she added.