15/06/2005

Belfast signs 'sister city' agreement with Hefei

Belfast City Council has signed an historic ‘Sister Cities’ agreement with the Chinese city of Hefei.

The agreement, which is the culmination of an eight-year relationship fostered by Belfast City Council, was signed during a two-day visit by a senior delegation from Hefei, led by the city’s Mayor, Mr Guo Wanqing.

It is expected that the sister city relationship will help strengthen civic, commercial and cultural ties between Belfast and Hefei.

Ahead of the signing, Councillor Michael Browne, Chairman of the Council’s Economic Development Sub-Committee, said: “We have been working hard to forge relationships with China for the last eight years, as there can be absolutely no doubt that China represents a massive opportunity for local businesses.

“It is our objective to enable local companies to use our relationship with Hefei to minimise the legal and regulatory obstacles to the Chinese market."

The agreement will aim to foster a partnership on a range of issues of mutual benefit and interest, including business development and investment, education and training. It also will help strengthen links between the Council and the city’s Chinese community in Northern Ireland.

Recognising the importance of China in the global economy, Belfast City Council began developing links with the world’s largest emerging market in 1997, undertaking its first formal visit to Hefei three years later. Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2000, the two cities have now taken their relationship to the next, most formal level, with the signing of a ‘Sister Cities Agreement’.

During the visit, the seven-strong delegation from Hefei will attend a range of briefings and seminars, and meet representatives of Belfast City Council, Investment Belfast, Invest NI, the city’s education sector, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese Welfare Association.

The delegation also will visit Delta Packaging, the first local company to establish a joint venture in China.

Later this year, the Council will be launching an export development programme for local companies seeking to do business in China.

(SP/MB)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 May 2015
Other News In Brief
Dromore Masterplan Launches A new vision for regeneration of Dromore town centre has been launched. The Dromore Masterplan sets out a blueprint of a new vision for the centre.
21 May 2015
Planning Approved For New Office Building For McAleer And Rushe
Planning permission has been approved to develop a new 100,000 sq ft office building in a £24.7m deal with McAleer and Rushe. Belfast City Council has agreed to acquire Clarendon House on Adelaide Street. The scheme, designed by Todd Architects, received planning permission at the council's Planning Committee.
05 May 2015
Man Shot In Belfast City Centre
A man has been shot in the Markets area of Belfast this morning, according to the police. It is understood the incident occurred on Lower Standield Street. Police said the incident is ongoing and more information is to follow. Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has condemned the fatal shooting.
28 May 2015
Security Alert In South Belfast Declared A Hoax
Residents had to be evacuated from their homes in south Belfast following a security alert in south Belfast. A suspicious object was thrown at a property in the Blythe Street area at around 11.30pm. Police and army technical officers attended the scene which was described as a hoax. The residents have now returned to their homes.
27 May 2015
Police Appeal Following Spate Of Burglaries In Belfast
Police are appealing for information following a spate of burglaries in the Belfast area in the early hours of this morning, Wednesday, 27 May. At around 2am police received a report that a man who lives in the Fitzroy Avenue area woke to find an unknown male in his room. There was also a second unknown male in the house.
13 April 2010
Belfast Business Awards On Way
Local businesses successes will be celebrated at a prestigious business awards later this month. UTV's Marc Mallett (pictured) is looking forward to hosting the Belfast Business Awards which will take place in the City Hall on Thursday 29 April. Space NK.apothecary founder Nicky Kinnaird will co-host the awards alongside the UTV presenter.
09 June 2009
Lord Mayor Invites Belfast to 'Look Up' For Carnival Fun
Belfast's Lord Mayor, Councillor Naomi Long, is inviting the people of the city to 'Look Up' at the stars. The Belfast City Carnival will help celebrate the International Year of Astronomy, when one of the highlights of the city`s cultural calendar takes to the streets on Saturday 27 June.
04 November 2004
Belfast City Council target 2006 culture celebrations
Belfast City Council is to begin consultations into how to turn the year 2006 into a celebration of cultural excellence. Councillor Ian Crozier, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, said that the Council wanted both to enhance existing events and provide scope for new events and innovative commissions throughout the year.
08 May 2015
Other News In Brief
VE Day To Be Remembered At Belfast City Hall A beacon is to be lit in the grounds of Belfast City Hall today, 8 May, to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day. In Belfast, World War ll veteran Marelle Murphy will say a few words of reflection before the beacon is lit at 9.32pm.
18 June 2012
'On Yer Bike', Says Belfast City Council
Belfast City Council staff are hoping for a 'wheelie good time' in Belfast this week. The council is encouraging people to cycle around the city to keep fit and cut carbon emissions.
27 October 2011
Win EMA Tickets With Belfast City Council
Belfast City Council residents are today being given the chance to win coveted tickets to the forthcoming MTV EMA ceremony at the Odyssey Arena on Sunday 6 November.
02 October 2007
Belfast City Council Stadium Plan Expenditure
Belfast City Council has approved further expenditure of £140,000 on a new business plan to examine building a regional stadium in Belfast. It is reported that Belfast City Council has already spent in the region of £60,000 on the issue of a stadium in the city. Two previous proposals for a stadium at Ormeau Park have been dismissed.
21 May 2007
Belfast City Council questioned over cheque fraud
Police have revealed they are investigating allegations of cheque fraud at Belfast City Council. The Building Control department is at the centre of the inquiry and it is alleged that a number of cheques were either stolen or cashed.
03 October 2006
Book of Belfast's history to be published
A new book recounting the most dramatic century in Belfast’s history is to be published this week by Blackstaff Press, in association with Belfast City Council.
08 May 2006
City Council seeks artists to brighten up Belfast
Belfast City Council has called on artists to brighten up the city's arterial routes. The artists are being asked get involved in Belfast City Council’s ongoing ‘Renewing The Routes’ urban regeneration programme.