Liverpool and Shanghai have strengthened their bond of friendship during a meeting between the cities’ leaders at the International Festival for Business 2014.
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool met with Ms Zhao Wen, Vice-Mayor of Shanghai to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) first signed in 2007.
Ms Zhao Wen is leading a delegation to the city as she takes part in the BT Global City Leaders’ summit at St George’s Hall today (Wednesday June 18), one of the signature events of IFB 2014.
The historic meeting took place at the IFB Hub at Mann Island, also attended by Mr Pan Yundong, Chinese Consul General in Manchester and representatives of several businesses doing business in China including the Peel Group, Arup, Brock Carmichael and PwC.
Representatives from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Liverpool Biennial were also present.
Mayor Anderson said: “Shortly we will be celebrating China Week at IFB 2014 (June 30-July 4) with several important events, working with our partners China Britain Business Council and United Kingdom Trade & Investment. Today though is the most important China event in Liverpool’s 2014 calendar.
“Signing the refreshed MoU with Shanghai is very significant and illustrates the ongoing and growing interest in developing mutually beneficial relationships with China in Business, Culture and Education.
“We are also very pleased to see the extent of Chinese engagement in IFB 2014 and the support from China Government officials, not least in taking part in the BT Global City Leaders’ summit.
“Already as a result of Chinese involvement in the festival deals are being done with Liverpool enterprises.”
In the first year since World Expo 2010 (up to January 2012) businesses in Liverpool secured £6.5m worth of sales/trade with China. In the following year (up to June 2013) a further £16.1m worth of sales/orders were secured.
There have also been 25 Chinese delegations to Liverpool since the Expo and Government officials from Beijing, Changchun, Guangzhou, Haikou, Nanning, Xi’an, Zhuzhou and Hunan Province are also attending the BT Global City Leaders summit, together with senior officials from the Department of European & Asian Affairs of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC).
They are among 300 city leaders and senior members of local government from around the world meeting in Liverpool’s St George’s Hall to discuss how they are ‘Delivering growth in times of austerity.’
Leaders from some of the world’s most renowned cities will hear keynote speeches from Bruce Katz of Washington DC’s Brookings Institute and Greg Clark, the UK’s Minister of State for Cities, among others.