Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Dallas mayor inks friendship pact with North China port city
Dalian agreement will boost trade and ties
On Tuesday, April 29, Dallas mayor Tom Leppert signed a Friendship City Agreement with Dalian, a major seaport city in China. It was the second such agreement signed during the Mayor’s Trade Mission to China.
“We feel this is a very special opportunity,” Mayor Leppert told Dalian Mayor Xia Deren before the signing ceremony.
The ceremony was held at the city’s government building. Dallas City Councilmembers Ron Natinsky, Tennell Atkins and Jerry Allen flanked Mayor Leppert as both Mayors signed the pact. Top officials in Mayor Xia’s government were also on hand.
“I feel the two cities share very much in common,” said Mayor Xia thr0ugh a translator. “I would like to wish the cooperation between the two cities a bright future.”
Under the agreement, both cities agree to:
- Carry out a range of exchanges and cooperation in ecomony and trade, logististics and transportion, health, culture, education, tourism and more.
- Promote these exchanges and take part in each others activities.
- Meet regularly to negotiate and coordinate these exchanges and programs between the two parties.
While sister city agreements have been common between cities for many years, the Friendship City Pacts are relatively new and tend to focus on business, trade and tourism relationships. In China government and business circles, the pacts can be a strong signal that a “Friendship City” is a favored trading partner.
Dalian is one of China’s premiere cities and the northern most ice free port in China. It is one of China’s “open door” cities and as such open to foreign investment. Its strong economy has been built on shipbuilding, oil, fishing, technology and tourism. Much of the rapidly growing city has gone up in the last 12 years. Numerous construction cranes and new high rise towers can be seen in every direction.
“We feel the agreement is especially appropriate because of the commonalities we both share,” said Mayor Leppert.
He pointed to their growing and diverse economies, strong tourist appeal, and how their prime locations have turned both into major distribution and logistic hubs for international trade.
“Though we approach it in different ways, you a sea port - we an inland port, we understand how important it is,” he said. Mayor Leppert extended an invitation to Mayor Xia to visit Dallas in the near future.
Following the ceremony, Mayor Xia took the delegates on to his balcony and demonstrated the fountain and music show in the large public park outside. He controls the program from his balcony. After the formal luncheon hosted by the Mayor, the delegation toured the city and the Dalian Software Park, a major high-tech area of the city. The delegates traveled to Hong Kong later that night.
Earlier in the day, before leaving Shanghai for Dalian, the delegation – which included a member of the DART Board - took the Transrapid Shanghai Maglev Train which connects to the international airport. The high speed train is propelled using electro magnetic force. It smoothly transported the delegation to the airport at about 190 miles an hour.
Source: City of Dallas